Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fingers vaping as the primary culprit in an outbreak of severe lung illnesses resulting in almost three dozen deaths nationally, and climbing.
Teen nicotine vaping has become so prevalent in recent years that the Food and Drug Administration has called it an "epidemic". Those age increases have been imposed in an effort to cut into teen vaping.
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To further crack down on retailers selling tobacco and vaping products to underage youth, the New York State Police department is partnering with the Department of Health to conduct undercover investigations across the state under The Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, which enlists underage youth to attempt to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products.
The researchers estimate almost 1 million students use e-cigarettes daily. However, this year's survey noted an all-time low in tobacco smoking among high school students coinciding with the increase in vaping among that demographic. This includes about one in 17 high schoolers nationwide.More news: Whitney Houston's Best Friend Robyn Crawford Breaks Silence On Their Love Affair
"Kids report they use mint, and other flavors like mango, bubble gum, tutti frutti, unicorn milk - pretty remarkable - and that they don't care for menthol", Conway said Wednesday. As it turns out, the discontinued flavors weren't high schooler students first choice. 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.
The company did not respond to a request for comment on the results of the JAMA study.
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In earlier surveys by the FDA, many young e-cigarette users said they vaped because their friend or family members did the same (39 percent) or because of the availability of "flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate" (31 percent). And that number could be even higher, the researchers say, since some students may falsely believe that other e-cigarettes are also made by Juul.