The latest state survey shows vaping nicotine among teenagers is as big a problem as ever.

Health department figures show 1 in 5 high school students vape, and 70-percent of high school and middle school students fall into the category of nicotine dependence.

“Nicotine is a very powerful drug that can draw them in and keep them. And that’s why we’re especially concerned about these signs of dependence and the increase in frequency of use, ” said Minnesota Department of Health Tobacco Control Manager Laura Oliven.

The survey shows marijuana vaping rates among middle and high school students have skyrocketed over the past three years. Oliven says marijuana is a logical next step for many who become hooked on the flavored chemicals.

“It attracts them in to using this device, and then they quickly discover how easily it can be hidden. Maybe then someone offers them a vape of marijuana and you can see where there’s a new entry point,” said Oliven.

MDH has launched a new program to help young people quit vaping. It’s called MyLife My Quit, where teens can confidentially get help online, or even by text.

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