(NBC News) – Cigarette smoking in the United States is at an all time low according to the American Lung Association’s annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, but a spike in youth vaping is threatening to send that progress up in smoke.
“We are really at the cusp of seeing another generation of American’s kids lost to tobacco,” says the American Lung Association’s Erika Sward.
The report finds one in four high school students, and ten percent of middle school students, are using e-cigarettes.
Overall, more than six million youth are using some type of tobacco product.
“The surgeon general has made it clear that inhaling any form of nicotine can permanently alter adolescent brain development. It also fundamentally hurts your lung health,” Sward warns.
While the report gives Congress an “A” grade for raising the legal age to buy tobacco to 21, it assigns the federal government, 42 states and the nation’s capital an “F” for funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
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