CDC e-cigarette data raises concerns at PA Health Department

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Sep 14, 2013 5:49 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of middle and high school students puffing on electronic cigarettes doubled last year.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey finds 10 percent of high schoolers and three percent of middle schoolers have tried e-cigarettes.

Judy Ochs is director of the Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control at the state Health Department. She says they still don't know exactly what's inside the devices.

"We know they are using the nicotine replacement cartridges, but they are also having flavored ones," Ochs explains.  "The bottom line is those cartridges go through a metal device, which creates a reaction, which creates the vapor."

The agency does not support electronic cigarettes as an effective quit tool.

A western Pennsylvania lawmaker had previously introduced legislation that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. He's calling for quick legislative action in light of the new data.

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