Cigarette usage at all time low among Virginia teens

(MGN Online)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Teens smoking cigarette here in Virginia is at an all-time low.

According to a survey from the Virginia Department of Health, only about 6.5 percent of teens smoke.

Virginia teens are also below that national average. About 7.6 percent of teens smoke cigarettes on nationwide.

But a number of teens are using other substances.

Of the high school students in Virginia, 5 percent currently drink alcohol, 2 percent use marijuana, and at least 11.8 percent are current e-cigarette users.

“While we are heartened by the continuing downward trend of youth cigarette smoking, we remain concerned that young people are at risk of marijuana use as well as alcohol and nicotine addiction,” says VFHY Executive Director Marty Kilgore.

Although health officials are pleased with the decline in cigarette smoking, they show concern in the rise in marijuana and e-cigarette usage.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called the popularity of e-cigarettes among young people a "national epidemic."

On Tuesday, Juul Labs Inc. halted their sales in certain stores to deter kids from wanting and buying them.

Juul is the top-selling e-cigarette device on the market. The VDH survey didn't specify whether teens were using Juuls specifically or other e-cigarettes in Virginia.

For four years in a row, e-cigarettes were the most popular nicotine-delivery devices among teens, according the the CDC.

State law prohibits the purchase of e-cigarettes and tobacco for people under 18-years-old.

You can read more about VDH's survey here.

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