The E-Cigarette Explosion in American Youth—And Why It Matters

By: Austin Perlmutter, M.D.

Electronic cigarettes (commonly known as e-cigarettes) are a relatively new phenomenon. They’ve been discussed by some as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes, and have seen massive spikes in popularity over the last several years. Like many new technologies, it’s taken a bit of time for research to catch up with marketing. Unfortunately, this window has allowed for an incredible surge in e-cigarette use within one of our most vulnerable populations.

In November of 2018, the CDC released a report on e-cigarette use in American youth. The results show an epidemic, with 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students using these products this year. These shocking statistics show that e-cigarette users increased from 1.5% of high school students in 2011 to 20.8% in 2018. Even more shocking, the total number of high schoolers using e-cigarettes increased by 78% from 2017 to 2018. Continue reading