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More teenagers in Taiwan smoke electronic cigarettes

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-29 16:52

TAIPEI -- About 4.2 percent of teenagers in Taiwan smoke electronic cigarettes in 2019, up from 2.7 percent in 2018, the latest research by the island's health promotion agency found.

More than 57,000 teenagers were estimated to smoke electronic cigarettes in 2019, according to the research report published Thursday.

Among high school students, 5.6 percent vaped, up from 3.4 percent in 2018, while the proportion among students in junior middle schools rose from 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent, the report said.

The main reason for smoking electronic cigarettes is peer pressure, the report said.

The number of teenagers smoking tobacco also increased in 2019 for the first time over the past 10 years. About 3 percent of junior middle school students smoked, up from 2.8 percent in 2018, while 8.4 percent of high school students smoked, up from 8 percent in 2018.

More than half of the teenage smokers first tried tobacco because of "being curious," the report said.

The research also found that the proportion of teenagers who smoked both electronic cigarettes and tobacco increased with the age. About 3.4 percent of high school students both smoked and vaped, compared with 1.1 percent in junior middle schools.

The agency warned that active marketing of electronic cigarettes, using creative designs and adding new flavors, has posed new health threats for teenagers and the health departments are trying to enhance supervision over these new types of cigarettes.

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