Teen Smoking Rates Hit New Low

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FILE - In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago. A large government survey released Thursday, June 15, 2017, suggests the number of U.S. high school and middle school students using electronic cigarettes fell to 2.2 million last year, from 3 million the year before. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
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Teen smoking rates have hit new lows in the U.S. and, for the first time, fewer high school students are trying e-cigarettes, new data show. The latest report on teen smoking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 20 percent of high school students have used at least one tobacco product recently, mostly e-cigarettes.

In past years, as fewer kids tried old-fashioned combustible cigarettes, more kids tried vaping instead. In 2016, for the first time, both vaping and smoking rates went down, the CDC reported.

“The decline in use of tobacco products was primarily driven by a drop in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students from 3 million in 2015 to just under 2.2 million in 2016,” the CDC report says.

The survey found that 11 percent of high school students had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days at the time of the survey, the CDC’s definition of current use.

“We do know that e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth and that’s been the case since about 2014,” Brian King of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health told NBC News.

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