HEALTHBEAT 4: Teen vaping epidemic - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEALTHBEAT 4: Teen vaping epidemic

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Vaping is meant to be alternative for adults who are trying to stop smoking cigarettes.

But it's now an alarming new trend- some are calling an epidemic. 

A recent U.S. surgeon general report found that since 2011, e-cigarette use among high school students, has increased 900 percent.

1.7 million high school students said they had used e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days before taking the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey.

500,000 middle school students- said the same.

The trend is now accelerating among teens.

A new generation of easily hidden devices emit so little smoke that some students are even vaping in class.

"The most popular item, which is the the Juul," said Francis Thompson, Principal, Jonathan Law High School. "As you can see, it looks like a flash drive, it's not. And then the kids can just tuck it away when they're done."

The US Food and Drug Administration is concerned that some companies are targeting and marketing e-cigarettes and vaping products to teenagers.

"No kid should be using any tobacco product," said Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner. "We're going to be taking some enforcement actions very soon to target companies that we think are marketing products in ways that they are deliberately appealing to kids." 

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