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CDC Says More Young People Using E-Cigarettes Like Juuls

Tobacco use among young people in the U.S. is rising — mostly due to the spread of e-cigarettes, according to a new report released Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

E-cigarette use, including different types of products like juuls, nearly doubled among U.S. high school students, from about 12 percent in 2017 to nearly 21 percent in 2018. The CDC reports, during that time, the number of young people using e-cigarettes went up by 1.5 million.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Professor Dr. Erika Trapl says the variety of e-cigarette options appeals to young people and that may be driving the increase. She says that while researchers are still studying the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, they do contain a lot of nicotine, and pose a risk for addiction among young people.

"Flavored, non-cigarette tobacco products, particularly flavored e-cigarette and flavored cigar products — this is really where we need to be focusing in order to keep kids from getting addicted to nicotine," said Trapl.

Trapl points out that while tobacco use among young people nationwide is increasing, Cleveland has seen a decline in the last few years. She says it could be due to the city’s Tobacco 21 ordinance that changed the minimum age to buy tobacco products.

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