Dec 6, 2019

Youth tobacco use highest in 19 years

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Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Table: Axios Visuals

New data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show that 6.2 million middle school and high school students use tobacco, the highest level since 2000.

Why it matters: Tobacco use among middle schoolers and high schoolers remains high thanks to the popularity of e-cigarettes.

  • Health advocates and some states are blaming misleading advertising, media and inconspicuous vape devices like Juul for enticing kids to try e-cigarettes.

Findings: This year, NYTS asked teens why they smoked e-cigarettes. More than half cited their curiosity and almost one-fourth said they tried them because of the flavors.

  • E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among high school and middle school students for the sixth year in a row.
  • About seven in 10 middle and high school students currently using tobacco used flavored tobacco products.

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Mass. becomes first state to outlaw flavored tobacco and vaping products

Protestors against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's vaping ban on the front steps of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill into law on Wednesday for a sweeping ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes.

Why it matters: The Act Modernizing Tobacco Control law is the first of its kind prohibiting these products permanently and on a statewide basis. The ban on flavored vaping products will be effective immediately, while the outlawed sale of menthol cigarettes starts June 1, 2020 in the wake of the vaping epidemic, resulting in illnesses and deaths across the country.

Go deeper: Vaping and vitamin E acetate: What we know

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

CDC confirms 2,807 hospital cases of lung injury linked to vaping

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

There are 2,807 confirmed hospital cases of lung injury associated with vaping in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb 18.

What's new: Because of the consistent declines in new EVALI cases since Sept. 2019, as well as the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, Tuesday's report will be the final CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 25, 2020 - Health

New York sues Juul for marketing products to youths

New York Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a suit on Tuesday against Juul Labs for allegedly preying on and misleading teenagers with its ads, and for failing to warn consumers about potential health risks associated with using its products.

The big picture: The lawsuit filed in New York County Supreme Court came just one day after California filed a similar suit against Juul for suggesting its e-cigarettes are a safer option than traditional cigarettes. In the past year, Juul has gone from exceeding its 2018 projections and becoming a venture capital fundraising machine to being regulators' favorite punching bag.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019