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UK Government to Review E-Cigarette Regulations Post-Brexit

UK Government to Review E-Cigarette Regulations Post-Brexit

While tobacco use has been effectively controlled among United States teenagers, nicotine vaping has nearly doubled among high school students from 11 per cent in 2017 to 20.9 in 2018 leading a large number back to nicotine use and addiction, a survey has found.

In the annual Monitoring the Future survey on drug use among adolescents, federally funded researchers reported Monday that more than one in three high school seniors and almost one in three sophomores say they vaped at least once in the past year. A similar, though less drastic, increase in cannabis vaping was also observed; the numbers increased from 9.5-percent among 12th graders in 2017 to 13.1-percent in 2018.

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics in Stanford University's Division of Adolescent Medicine, called this increase in vaping alarming but not surprising because of new products, such as those from popular e-cigarette maker Juul.

This was the largest single-year increase in the survey's 44-year history, the survey said.

She added that the difficulty youths face in accessing opioid drugs could explain this stark difference in use between teenagers and young adults.

"That's a marked increase just over a one-year period", said Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funds the survey. "We see increases in whether the kids have ever used them, whether they've used in the past year or the past month". Today, more high school students use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes, and more high school students are using e-cigarettes than adults are.

A total of 37.3 percent of 12th graders reported "any vaping" in the past 12 months, compared to 27.8 percent in 2017, the survey said.




California state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), lead author of the state bills, said his proposals would curb the "epidemic proportion" of vaping among teens. The MTF survey has been tracking substance use among teenagers since 1975.

"When we see rates of around 6 percent of high school seniors smoking marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis, that's an bad lot of kids whose memory may be impaired and their brains aren't working at full steam at the exact time when they need to be", Compton said. The liquids come in kid-friendly flavors - from watermelon to the more exotic "unicorn puke" - that release fruity and sweet vapors, making e-cigs easier to disguise than traditional cigarettes. Regulators will need to pay close attention to the fast-changing market and be ready to modify their policies if necessary, they said.

In this February 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in NY. "We are very concerned about the increase in vaping". Some focus on the potential benefit of shifting lifelong smokers to less harmful nicotine products, while others fear it will create a new generation addicted to nicotine.

Just 17.5 percent of 12th graders said they had been drunk in the past 30 days, down significantly from 26 percent in 2013, the survey showed. Misuse of prescription opioids also decreased.

The percentage of 8th-grade students vaping in the past 30 days increased too - from 3.5 percent to 6.1 percent.

Use of other illicit drugs among teens was flat or declined. While the devices are believed by many to be safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes, they are far from harmless.

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