January 8th, 2015
More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government’s annual drug use survey.
Researchers were surprised at how many 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using electronic cigarettes this year, even as regular smoking by teens dropped to new lows.
Nearly 9 percent of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous month, while just 4 percent reported smoking a traditional cigarette, said the report being released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health.
Use increased with age: Some 16 percent of 10th graders had tried an e-cigarette in the past month, and 17 percent of high school seniors. Regular smoking continued inching down, to 7 percent of 10th graders and 14 percent of 12th graders.
“I worry that the tremendous progress that we’ve made over the last almost two decades in smoking could be reversed on us by the introduction of e-cigarettes,” said University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnston, who leads the annual Monitoring the Future survey of more than 41,000 students.