More than 4m high schoolers and 1m middle schoolers vape, study shows

Jeffrey Manzanares using his inhaler. Manzanares lost nearly 50 pounds was hospitalized for 17 days last month after vaping THC and nicotine. Health officials continue to see a steady stream of people suffering from vaping-related lung illnesses

Cuomo announced this week that New York's law raising the minimum sales age for tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21 will go into effect on November 13.

Starting November 13, the age to legally purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products in NY goes from 18 to 21.

"We are taking aggressive action to make sure the decades of progress we've made to combat tobacco addiction is not undone by a sharp rise in e-cigarette use among younger New Yorkers", Cuomo said in a statement.

According to Department of Health data, almost 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of high school students in New York State are now using e-cigarettes, and the increase is largely driven by flavored e-liquids.

Researchers from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which is conducted annually. "[Such moves] could also encourage the millions of US adolescents who already use e-cigarettes to quit vaping, especially if they can no longer access e-cigs in flavors they like". This includes about one in 17 high schoolers nationwide.

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In an effort to lower rates of teen vaping, the FDA is considering banning most flavors. "Eliminating access to flavored e-cigarettes is a pro-active approach to a growing problem".

Because tobacco use persists among youth and adults, New York State continues to prevent young adults from starting smoking. Suffolk County adopted a law in 2009 banning the sale of e-cigarettes and similar products to persons under the age of 21 and prohibiting their use "in public places where traditional forms of smoking are already disallowed", according to the County Code. Of those, mint was by far the most popular. In heavy-vaping teens who used Juul on 20 or more days in the past month, mint was the most popular flavor in all grades.

Among 10th and 12th graders, mint and mango ranked first and second - about 44% and 27% among 10th graders, and 47% and 24% among 12th graders, respectively. It also did not ask specifically aboutvaping THC, a chemical found in marijuana.

The Health Department says the smoking rate in NY high school students dropped from 27 percent in 2000 to 4.3 percent in 2016.

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