By Danica Katnik/

Electronic cigarette use is increasing among high school students across the state, including in Livingston County.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office says while traditional cigarette use has plummeted among youth, vaping is skyrocketing. A recent survey of Michigan high schoolers showed a growing trend in the number of students who admitted to using an electronic vaping product in the past 30 days. The survey compared the scores using data from the 2015-2016 academic year to 2017-2018. In 2015-2016, 21.6% of Livingston County high school students surveyed said they had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. That number went up to 28% for the 2017-2018 school year, resulting in an overall increase of 30%. Of the 49 counties surveyed, Hillsdale was the only one that showed a decrease from the 2015-2016 academic year to the 2017-2018 year; however, data from 2015-2016 was not available for six counties.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), part of the appeal of e-cigarette use to youth is the cool, colorful and sleek product designs, along with thousands of flavors, and the belief in widespread claims that those products are not addictive and are safe to use. Because the e-cigarette marketplace also remains largely unregulated, tobacco industry companies continue to heavily advertise vaping products to young people, using methods that have long been prohibited for other tobacco products.

Attorney General Dana Nessel on Tuesday announced Michigan has joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of Juul Labs. Juul is an American tobacco company and maker of the Juul e-cigarette. The 39-state coalition is investigating Juul’s marketing and sales practices, including targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding risks, safety and effectiveness as a smoking cessation device.

Juul reportedly has plans to propose to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a vaping device with an age-proof lock that cannot be unlocked until the user proves they are at least 21 years of age.

More information on vaping can be found at the link below. The full survey results can be viewed through the attachment.