Electronic cigarette use up among Illinois teens

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Electronic cigarette use by Illinois teens is significantly up, a new survey reports.

The Illinois Youth Survey shows use by Illinois sophomores is up by 65 percent and 45 percent by seniors.

About 18 percent of sophomores reported smoking e-cigarettes during the previous month. That is up from 11 percent of students in 2016.

27 percent of high school seniors now report using e-cigarettes, compared to 18 percent two years ago.

7.4 percent of 8th grade students say they vape... up from 6.4 percent in 2016.

"Our survey rarely registers increases of this magnitude among any of our measures of illicit youth substance use," said Scott Hays, a senior research scientist at the University of Illinois Center for Prevention Research and Development, which conducts the survey. "This increased use of e-cigarettes among Illinois teens reverses great strides that were made in reducing tobacco use among youths over many years. Now we suddenly see rates of e-cigarette use of nearly 27 percent among this group. This sets youth tobacco control programs backward more than 10 years."

More than 11,200 teens were surveyed.

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