U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) | Contributed photo
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) released a statement on Thursday in response to findings from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which showed that for the first time since e-cigarettes entered the market, more U.S. teens are using e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes.
“While the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) continues to drag its feet on finalizing common-sense regulations to protect children and teenagers from the dangers of e-cigarettes, the number of young people getting hooked on this potentially deadly habit is growing exponentially," Durbin said. "Every day the FDA fails to move forward with federal regulation is another opportunity for Big Tobacco to peddle its newest product unchecked. The data continues to pile up, and the evidence has never been clearer: Strong regulatory action on e-cigarettes cannot wait.”
The youth survey also reported that e-cigarette use among youths in the past year has more than tripled, increasing from 660,000 to 2 million among high school students and 120,000 to 450,000 among middle-school students.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that 4.5 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes, amounting to a threefold increase in reported levels of use since 2011.