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E-cigarette usage among Mississippi middle school students increased by 48%

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.

Jon Ross Myers

Jon Ross Myers is the executive editor and publisher of the Mississippi News Network, Mississippi's largest digital only media company. He can be reached at editor@tippahnews.com

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