A new study by the 2013 Oklahoma Youth Tobacco Survey (OYTS) shows more Oklahoma children than ever before are trying electronic cigarettes.
Researchers found nearly 18 percent of high school students across the Sooner state are using e-cigarettes. Almost seven percent of middle schools have tried them.
Nationwide, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students nearly doubled between 2011 to 2012.
"The use of vapor products among youth is concerning, as nicotine is a highly addictive substance that may negatively affect the developing brain," said State Health Commissioner Terry Cline. "It's important that we protect youth from exposure to these products, just as we work to protect youth from exposure to all tobacco products."
Oklahoma has no law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes and vapor products to kids.
The OYTS is a representative survey of all middle school and high school students in Oklahoma. The OYTS was conducted earlier this year by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and numerous partners from local health agencies and local school districts.