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Disposable vaping products still have a large appeal to teens. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/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 which revealed 28% of high school students and 11% of middle school students used those products.

The big picture: The Food and Drug Administration attempted to curb youth vaping this year by barring flavored tobacco products in small vaping devices that have a youth following.

  • Federal law has since increased the age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21 and older.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2020 - Health

Scotland becomes first nation to make period products free

Scotland on Tuesday approved legislation that will make menstrual products free across the country for all who require them.

Why it matters: Scotland will be the first nation in the world to make period products fully free and available. The effort is meant to eradicate "period poverty," in which people go without menstrual products due to financial limitations.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Israeli forces said they had killed a senior Hamas commander in May 12 airstrikes. Gaza's health ministry said children died in the strikes. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It comes days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

Biden admin grants Colonial waiver to ease fuel shortages

Fuel tanks at Colonial Pipeline Baltimore Delivery in Baltimore, Maryland on Monday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration approved a temporary waiver of shipping requirements late Wednesday to help Colonial Pipeline transport fuel, as service resumes across the U.S. following last week's ransomware attack that that took it offline.

Why it matters: The century-old Jones Act requires ships to be built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers, but the waiver means foreign companies can transport gasoline and diesel to areas where there are fuel shortages.