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Just shy of 5 million middle and high school students are users of some form of tobacco product as of 2018, up from 3.6 million the year prior, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found in its annual National Youth Tobacco Survey released Monday. The increase is driven by e-cigarette use and that translates to about 27 percent of high school teens using tobacco products in 2018.

Of all the tobacco products the CDC surveys students about, including cigarettes and hookah, only e-cigarettes saw a meaningful increase in use. Among high school students, e-cigarette use surged nearly 78 percent. In 2018, nearly 21 percent of high school students vaped, up from close to 12 percent in 2017. In 2018, 1.5 million more middle school and high school students vaped than in 2017, up to 3.6 million from 2.1 million, according to the survey (and as reported on CNBC.) 

Dr. David Flomenhaft, Mercy's director of Outpatient Behavioral Health Services, recognizes that it’s a crisis among adolescents and adults.

He said, "It’s important for people to wake up and realize that it’s not benign just because it’s not a cigarette. These toxic chemicals have an effect on developing brains, which continue to develop until the age of 25. It affects memory, attention and learning, which are all especially important in middle school, high school and college-age students.” 

For more information about outpatient behavioral health services call 516-62-MERCY or 516-626-3729.

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