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More than 2M U.S. school kids report using e-cigarettes in 2021, CDC says

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An estimated 2.06 million U.S. middle and high school students are using electronic-cigarettes with Juul and Vuse among the most popular products, according to data from a 2021 survey analyzed by health officials.

The data, published on Thursday in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showed the use of the potentially addictive nicotine devices may have declined from 3.6 million students in 2020.

Read more: Should e-cigarettes be banned amid coronavirus? Why some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for it

However, authors of the study cautioned that estimates based on this year’s survey conducted mostly online cannot be compared to results from surveys done in previous years collected from classrooms.

The use of e-cigarettes among children and teens has been a growing public health concern. Makers of the devices came under the scrutiny of health regulators for allegedly targeting their marketing at youth and concerns that a new generation would become hooked on nicotine.

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Manufacturers argue that the products help smokers quit.

Puff Bar, Vuse, SMOK and Juul were among the most popular e-cigarette brands among current users in high schools, while Puff Bar and Juul were most popular among middle schoolers, according to the survey conducted from Jan. 18 to May 21.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month delayed its decision applications on whether Juul and other major manufacturers, including British American Tobacco Plc’s Vuse, can sell their products in the United States as it decides whether the products provide a net benefit to public health.

About 85% of youth e-cigarette users overall said they used flavored products with fruit, candy, desserts, or other sweets being the most popular, the survey data showed.

Among current middle and high school e-cigarette users, the most commonly used device type was disposables, followed by prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges and tanks or mod systems, the survey showed.

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— Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru

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