An alarming trend has been indentified by the Mississippi State Department of Health and Mississippi State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, MD : the use of e-cigarette products by middle school and high school students.
According to a recent report, middle school use increased by 48.5% while high school use increased by 77.8%.
“Use of any form of tobacco product by youth is unsafe, including e-cigarettes,” Dobbs said. “The increase in e-cigarette use is alarming because youth nicotine use can lead to addiction and can harm the developing brain, impacting learning, memory and attention.”
E-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youth since 2014. This recent increase in e-cigarette use among youth is consistent with observed increases in sales of the e-cigarette JUUL, a USB-shaped e-cigarette device with a high nicotine content that can be used discreetly and is available in flavors that appeal to youth. A single prefilled liquid nicotine JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
“Educators need to be especially vigilant because there are reports of e-cigarettes like JUUL being used in classrooms and school bathrooms,” Dobbs states.