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1 In 5 Young People Vapes, MDH Survey Shows

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- One in five Minnesota high school students uses e-cigarettes, a new survey from the state's health department shows.

The results of the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey, released Tuesday, also show that 70% of those users report signs of nicotine dependence. Those signs include vaping before going somewhere it is not allowed, reaching for an e-cigarette without thinking about it, an "intolerable" craving and/or dropping everything to buy e-cigarettes or vape juice.

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Since 2017, e-cigarette use has "held steady," MDH said, while overall tobacco use among high school and middle school students has declined. In fact, cigarette and cigar use dropped to the lowest rates ever recorded by the survey, which the department has conducted since 2000.

Sixty-five percent of high schoolers and nearly 72% of middle schoolers who use e-cigarettes also reported having vaped marijuana. The MDH called that "a statistically significant increase from 2017."

Overall, 18% of high schoolers and 2.5% middle schoolers say they've vaped marijuana.

More than 57% of students who use tobacco reported they planned to quit within the next 30 days or later.

"The good news is that we know what it takes to make a positive change; we just need to act," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. "Minnesota needs a comprehensive approach to reverse the youth tobacco epidemic."

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