E-cigs, hookahs gain new hold with middle, high school kids

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New kinds of tobacco products like e-cigarettes and hookahs are catching on fast with U.S. middle school and high school students, even as conventional cigarette use holds steady, government researchers said Thursday.

It’s a worrisome rise, they say, because the products are often specifically targeted to teens as better choices than regular smokes.

“The increase in use of electronic cigarettes and hookah tobacco could be attributed to low price, an increase in marketing, availability and visibility of these products, and the perception that these products might be ‘safer’ alternatives to cigarettes,” officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a new report.

Just weeks ago, government officials released data showing that the percentage of high-schoolers who had tried e-cigarettes had doubled to 10 percent between 2011 and 2012.

For related story about e.cigs and their influence on the younger generation click here.