LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Results of a new study show that more than 30% of high school students report having used e-cigarette products, with 10% of students saying they regularly use the products — up from 6.4% last year.
The 2017-18 California Student Tobacco Survey and the California Healthy Kids Survey also showed that cigarette smoking has reached a historic low among Los Angeles area high school students, but survey results found that use of e-cigarettes were on the rise with the vaping devices the most commonly used tobacco product among the 28,000 students surveyed.
Less than 2% of the surveyed students preferred traditional cigarettes.
“A new generation has become addicted to nicotine through flavored vape products like e-cigarettes,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “The epidemic of our youth becoming addicted to nicotine by flavors and flavored tobacco is unacceptable, and we will work to reverse this trend as we partner with others to ensure a tobacco-free generation.”
According to the survey, 83% of high school students who use tobacco reported using a flavored product — fruity or sweet flavors were the most popular. The survey also found that 61% of students purchased e-cigarettes from vape shops, though selling tobacco products to minors is illegal.
The survey results came just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an investigation into 94 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with vaping since June, primarily among adolescents and young adults.
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