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E-cigarette ads reach 7 in 10 young adults, CDC says
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report Tuesday that stated about 70 percent of teens are exposed to e-cigarette ads through numerous mediums. - photo by Payton Davis
A federal report released Tuesday indicated 7 in 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette advertising in retail stores, the Internet and on TV.

And exposure to these ads has young adults who try to avoid the adverse health effects of e-cigarettes in a "Wild West" of sorts.

"It's the Wild West out there when it comes to e-cigarette advertising," Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Washington Post. "It's no coincidence that as the advertising has skyrocketed, the use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed."

The CDC report draws parallels between the e-cigarette industry "hooking" youths through ads and how the tobacco industry used to do the same, Tripp Mickle wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

The report also came out at a time when teens are using e-cigarettes or "vaping" more than ever.

"E-cigarette use tripled among U.S. teenagers in 2014, and for the first time, more high-school students puffed on the devices 13.4 percent than traditional smokes 9.2 percent," according to the Journal.

Amy Rushlow noted for Yahoo Health the boom in e-cigarette advertising nearly tripled, the same rate by which use among teenagers increased.

"In 2011, advertisers spent $6.4 million on e-cig advertisements in newspapers, magazines, television, and online," Yahoo Health's report read. "By 2013, that figure topped $60 million, according to AdAge. And in 2014, according to a CDC statement, advertisers spent $115 million promoting e-cigs."

So where do teens see these ads most?

There's no shortage of mediums, but around 55 percent of young people see e-cigarette ads in stores, Alexandra Sifferlin wrote for Time. On the Internet, it was 40 percent; movies or TV, 37 percent; and in newspapers or magazines, 30 percent.

The risks of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes and in general are still being studied, Barbara Liston wrote for Reuters.

Many researchers believe e-cigarettes prove less harmful than smokes; however, Frieden told Reuters that use of e-cigarettes in young people could lead to brain damage, addiction and also higher risk of smoking regular cigarettes.

My colleague Lois M. Collins reported on the "cloudy" nature of information the public currently has on vaping.

E-cigarette proponents argue the devices are a "stop-smoking tool," Collins' piece indicated.

But experts counter there's little research out there to back that up, Collins wrote.

Regardless of the risks or benefits, e-cigarette companies are "getting to (kids) early, long before they become teenagers," Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told the Post.

"It was the case with cigarettes 25 years ago," the Post quoted Myers as saying. "They are using the same themes and the same images [as tobacco]. But the penetration in the modern media era is as strong as anything weve ever seen."
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