ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta states that use of e-cigarettes by American high school and middle school students doubled between 2011 and 2012.
A reported one in 10 high school students – and three in every 100 middle school students – make use of the fake cigarettes intended to help already-addicted smokers quit, according to the Florida Courier.
“The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden was quoted as saying in a statement. “Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”
The full Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in which these statistics were found was released last week, according to the Courier, and is said to be based on information taken from the National Youth Tobacco Survey.
From that study, CDC researchers learned that students as young as sixth grade are using the e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine and are often flavored.
Electronic cigarettes are not yet regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, some cities have attempted to resolve the issue on their own. Whoever becomes ultimately responsible for regulating their use and distribution, researchers with the CDC feel the situation is grave enough to merit swift action.
“The risk for nicotine addiction and initiation of the use of conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products [is a] serious concern,” they wrote, according to the paper. “Given the rapid increase in use and youths’ susceptibility to social and environmental influences to use tobacco, developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales, and use of e-cigarettes among youths is critical.”