Across the nation, the number of teens using e-cigarettes dropped dramatically last year. But in Wisconsin it was just the opposite.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that 11.3 percent of high schoolers used e-cigarettes in 2016, a sharp decline from previous years. Wisconsin went the other direction, seeing a rise to 13.3 percent.
Dona Wininsky is director of tobacco control and public policy for the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.
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“Now granted, we only have maybe about two year’s worth of really specific data on e-cigarettes, so its hard to say if that’s a trend, or a blip. But our high school usage rate is higher than the national average,” Wininsky said.
“I think there’s still a perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes and so for some kids who never would have tried smoking cigarettes they get the idea this might be a safer alternative,” Wininsky said.
Wininsky also points to the appeal of candy and fruit flavors used in e-cigarettes.
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