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Tuesday - June 20, 2017 1:22 am

E-cigs among teens sees national average drops, while Wisconsin rises

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Regular cigarette use has dropped among teens in state.

E-cigarette use among teens has dropped drastically across the nation, except in one state.

While the national average of high schoolers using e-cigarettes has dropped to 11.3 percent. In Wisconsin, that number has risen to 13.3 in 2016, according to the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services' 2016 youth tobacco survey.

Todd Mahr, an allergist at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, says the business knows what they're doing.

"They have bubble gum flavor, they have cotton candy flavor," Mahr said. "They have all these flavorings for these cigareettes that adults are never going to really, truly want. You can't tell me that's not marketing for children."

Mahr says kids are falling for the lie that e-cigs aren't that bad for you.

"They still have nicotine and they still have a number of other chemicals that aren't good for you," Mahr said. "Basically, similar chemicals to what's in antifreeze.

"And so you're inhaling that into your lungs, which is not to be done."

The one affect from the usage of e-cigarettes in the state is that it appears to be replacing the use of regular cigarettes. In the two years of data, the DHS survey says cigarette use among teens has dropped from 10.7 to 8.1 percent. E-cigarettes has risen from 7.9-13.3 percent, however.

Drew Kelly

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