CDC report: E-cigarette ads reach 18M teens

CDC report: E-cigarette ads reach 18M teens

More than 18 million young people — about seven in 10 middle and high school students — see ads for electronic cigarettes in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on TV and in movies, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement. “I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes.”

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The release of the CDC's Vital Signs report, which found that more than half of all middle and high school students saw e-cigarette ads in retail stores, comes as the Food and Drug Administration works to finalize a rule to assert its authority over all tobacco products and issue first-ever regulations for cigars and e-cigarettes.

CDC data shows that e-cigarette use soared from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent among high school students, and from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent among middle school students from 2011 to 2014. Spending on product advertising also went from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.

To reduce teen use, the agency said sales of tobacco products should be limited to facilities that never admit youth; there should be restrictions on the number of stores that sell tobacco and how close they can be to schools; e-cigarettes should be required to be sold only through face-to-face transactions, not on the Internet; and there should be an age verification requirement when entering vendor websites, making purchases and accepting e-cigarette deliveries.