Rise of popularity of e-cigs with teens causing concern
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(KTNV) -- The popularity of electronic cigarettes is on the rise among teenagers.
A federal report calls the trend troubling.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school age students who have tried an e-cigarette has risen to 10 percent in 2012 to 4.7 percent in 2011.
And it is not only high school students. About three percent of middle school students have also admitted to using them.
According to the director of the CDC, many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be "condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes."
The e-cig promises all the pleasures of smoking without actually smoking.
People who do it call it vaping, not smoking. They insist that it is not second-hand smoke and that it is just water vapor, which is not harmful.
But, no one really knows if it is safe.
One brand that was tested by the Food and Drug Administration a couple years ago tested positive for antifreeze, which is poisonous.
Doctors say they are not sure whether using electronic cigarettes long term could cause damage to a user's lungs or cause them to be predisposed to pneumonia.
Many ex-smokers swear by vaping though and says it has helped them to quit regular cigarettes.
But, according to the report, 76.3 percent of regular e-cigarette smokers also smoke traditional cigarettes.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 440,000 deaths per year.
One contributing factor to its rising popularity may be that so many celebrities are now endorsing them.