TODAY   |  March 07, 2014

States target e-cigarettes as teen use doubles

A study finds that the number of middle- and high school students using electronic cigarettes more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. The study suggests e-cigarette smoking may lead to smoking tobacco. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> with a major concern this morning over the number of teens who are using ecigarettes, the nicotine devices being marketed as an alternative to smoking tobacco . well, on thursday, michigan is the latest state to restrict the use by minors. john yang has more.

>> the study just out found that e-cigarette use by middle and high school students more than doubled between 2011 and 2012 .

>> it's probably my favorite part.

>> it's increasing so rapidly we're so concerned about what we're going to see in the future.

>> found that e-cigarette users were more likely to smoke tobacco , as well, heavily and less likely to quit. experts are divided about whether the data supports the study's conclusion that e-cigarette use may lead to smoking tobacco . an industry trade group slammed the study saying conclusions should be based on factual science, not assumption or opinion. e-cigarettes use a battery to heat a flavored liquid.

>> nicotine from any source in an adolescent brain is applied regularly impairs the normal process of the adolescent brain development .

>> and i finally found a smarter alternative.

>> reporter: makers say they don't target adolescents, but critics say the ads appeal to them.

>> we know that children are susceptible to glamourization to the use of celebrity endorsements. and there's also blatant association of e-cigarettes with sex.

>> at this year's golden globes , leonardo dicaprio was spotted vaping. hundreds of e-cigarette lounges have popped up.

>> is it as much the social aspect of it as anything?

>> yeah.

>> a growing trend that has medical experts worried about consequences for the next generation. for "today," john yang , nbc news, chicago.