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Photo: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

E-cigarette use among middle and high schoolers dropped significantly since last year, with 1.8 million fewer teens vaping, a federal report released Wednesday shows.

Why it matters: The survey, conducted between mid-January and mid-March, highlights the effects of last year's outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths.

  • In 2019, reports were confirmed of more than 2,600 hospital cases and nearly 60 deaths most likely associated with illicit THC-infused vaping products.

Yes, but: There is still a significant appeal for teens to smoke flavored tobacco products, which are now illegal to purchase in cartridge form.

  • Small vaping devices like those from Juul Labs are also still popular.
  • 26.5% of high schoolers used disposable e-cigarettes in 2020 (up from 2.4% in 2019) and 15.2% middle schoolers (up from 3% in 2019).

By the numbers: About 20% of high school students and 5% of middle school students said they recently used e-cigarettes and other vaping products — a large decrease from last year, when 28% of high school students and 11% of middle school students said they used those products.

Our thought bubble: Remember when vaping was our biggest public health problem?

Go deeper

NYC schools will change admission requirements to address segregation

Bill De Blasio. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

New York City will change admission requirements in middle and high schools to address segregation issues which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced on Friday.

Why it matters: New York has one of the most segregated school systems, with students of color — particularly Black and Latino — underrepresented in selective schools.

California wildfire explodes in size, destroys historic town

Battalion Chief Sergio Mora looks on as the Dixie fire burns through downtown Greenville, Calif. on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Josh EdelsonAFP via Getty Images

The small Sierra town of Greenville, California, was heavily damaged on Wednesday night into early Thursday as the Dixie Fire surged northward amid high winds, extremely dry air and hot temperatures.

The latest: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, continued to threaten communities in Plumas County into Thursday night, as more mandatory evacuation orders were issued in the region.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Top labor leader Richard Trumka dies unexpectedly at 72

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who led the largest federation of unions in the country for over a decade, has died at 72.

The big picture: Trumka began working as a coal miner in 1968 and would go on to dedicate his life to the labor movement, including as president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO beginning in 2009.