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Teen vaping hits all-time high

Posted: 6:13 AM, Dec 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-17 12:13:22Z

(NBC News) Vaping among teenagers has reached an all-time high, and there's no sign kids are quitting any time soon.

The skyrocketing number of kids using e-cigarettes has stunned even the experts.

"We're really astounded by how popular this has become," says Dr. Wilson Compton of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Popular may be an understatement.

More than 37-percent of high school seniors say they've vaped, up from just over a quarter of 12th graders last year.

The annual report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows kids are vaping nicotine, as well as marijuana.

Many also claim they're just vaping e-liquid flavors.

"Even the items that say they have flavors -- if you read the fine print and read what they say -- it always includes nicotine, but the consumer doesn't always know that. So they may not be aware that they're using nicotine when they're using this product," Dr. Wilson says.

Nicotine, of course, is highly addictive, and experts say e-cigarettes are getting a whole new generation hooked.

The Food and Drug Administration previously declared teen vaping an "epidemic" and is threatening to ban all flavored vaping products unless manufacturers can come up with a solid plan to curb youth access and use.