SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration has found a stunning rise in the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students.
The report released Thursday found vaping among high school students has more than tripled, from approximately 660,000 students in 2013 to 2 million students in 2014. A similar rise was found among middle school students with approximately 450,000 using e-cigarettes in 2014, up from 120,000 in 2013.
Researchers also found hookah smoking has roughly doubled for middle and high school students. The increases in hookah and e-cigarette use has offset declines in cigarette and cigar smoking among children.
“We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age, whether it’s an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said in a written statement. “Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.”
Earlier this year, the head of the California Department of Public Health called electronic cigarettes “a community health threat” and urged people to avoid the devices.
Bay Area lawmakers are pushing for more regulations of e-cigarettes. State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has introduced legislation that would ban the use of e-cigarettes in restaurants, buses, hospitals and other public spaces in California.
Former San Francisco supervisor Fiona Ma, who now sits on the State Board of Equalization, wants to tax e-cigarettes in a way similar to how tobacco is taxed.