CDC Reports Most E-Cigarettes Contain Nicotine, Pose Health Risks

CDC Reports Most E-Cigarettes Contain Nicotine, Pose Health Risks
CDC warns e-cigarettes with nicotine are addictive and harmful to young adults, with schools and police cracking down on illegal sales.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has reported that the majority of e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the well-developed brains of young people in their 20s.

Colleen Iannitti, principal of Jupiter High School in southern Florida, displayed dozens of electronic cigarettes collected on campus from the previous school year. Most of them appeared to be candy, but were actually electronic vaping devices.

For years, Iannitti has been dedicated to educating school staff, parents, and students about the dangers of using electronic cigarettes and how to avoid forming the habit early on. "It's happening in high schools and middle schools. We have even heard stories of it happening in elementary schools," she said.

Some recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that electronic cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle school students.

Seventh-grade student Brodie Zitner stated that he has never smoked an e-cigarette, but he mentioned that he was exposed to it during his middle school years. "Many times, it's like, 'Oh, someone is vaping in the bathroom,'" Zitner said.

Iannitti stated that the school is cooperating with local law enforcement to combat stores selling e-cigarette products illegally to children. They are also offering gift cards in exchange for students surrendering their e-cigarettes.

Iannitti said it took three years, but she observed a sharp decline in e-cigarette incidents on campus, which is similar to the national trend.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11.3% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2021. This is a decrease from 19.6% in 2020 and a further drop from the 27.5% of high school students who reported using e-cigarettes in 2019. Iannitti said she will continue to refer any students found using e-cigarettes to the school's mental health team for counseling, stating, "When a student does something like this, first and foremost, we know we need to let them know that it can really become addictive.


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