Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Tobacco use among kids is continuing to climb, a recent report says.
Nearly five million middle and high school students have used a tobacco product of some sort in the last 30 days, according to a new Vital Signs report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That number is an uptick from 3.6 million from 2017, the CDC said on Monday.
"The skyrocketing growth of young people's e-cigarette use over the past year threatens to erase progress made in reducing youth tobacco use. It's putting a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction," Director Robert R. Redfield, said in a news release.
Tobacco products include e-cigarettes, cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco.
In all, CDC researchers found that more than 27 percent of all high schoolers and more than 7 percent of middle school students reported using tobacco. Use was higher among male high school students than females, researchers say.
More than 32 percent of white students use tobacco products -- more than any other group -- followed by 21.7 percent of Hispanic kids, 18.4 percent of non-Hispanic kids of other races and 17.4 percent of black students.
Close to 21 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes, the most frequently used tobacco products, while 8 percent smoked cigarettes and 7.6 percent smoked cigars.
Also, 2 in 5 high school students and 1 in 3 middle school students reported using more than one tobacco product,
"Despite this troubling trend, we know what works and we must continue to use proven strategies to protect America's youth from this preventable health risk," Redfield said.
These statistics sync up with the surgeon general's December announcement saying that e-cigarette use has reached epidemic levels. Last year high school e-cigarette use rose by 75 percent from 2017.
"Youth use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe," Redfield said.