E-cigarette use among teens doubles, doctors worried

E-cigarette use among teens doubles, doctors worried

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The CDC is warning parents that the number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes is skyrocketing. The organization released findings today revealing just how many teens are using e-cigarettes.

According to data released by the CDC, e-cigarette use has more than doubled among middle and high school students.

To view the full study click here.

Michelle Terronez is the tobacco use prevention supervisor for the Oklahoma City County Health Department. She says, "We have no idea what is being placed into them. We have no idea exactly where they're coming from."

Terronez says the study results are alarming and frightening.

"When youth are using these nicotine products there's no telling what the affects are going to be," she said.

Data suggests that the percentage of high school students who reported ever using an e-cigarette rose from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% in 2012. Last year almost 2-million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes.

At the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, Dr. Theodore Wagener is one of the few people across the country studying e-cigarettes. He says while they are safer than regular cigarettes, that's setting an extremely low bar and youth should steer clear.

"No product on the market currently is safe. So there's no real safe tobacco product out there," said Dr. Wagener.

Dr. Wagener says e-cigarettes are easy for teens to get and he believes the number of users is going to continue going up.

"Parents should really do their best to keep their kids away from them. Make sure they know they're not harmless."

Dr. Wagener says he believes most vapor shops do a good job of keeping minors out, but there is next to nothing stopping teens from getting e-cigarettes online. The FDA says it intends to expand its jurisdiction over tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, but has not yet issued any regulations.

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