• US stock market daily report (April 16, 2015, Thursday)

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette use by high school students fell to record lows during 2014 while tobacco use among high school students grew to 24.6% from 22.9%.

    On the other hand, electronic cigarette use by U.S. middle and high school students tripled during 2014. According to the CDC, e-cigarette use by high school students jumped to 13.4% in 2014 from 4.5% during 2013. Over the same period, cigarette use over the same period fell to 9.2% from 12.7% for the largest year-over-year decline in more than a decade.

    Tobacco control advocates are voicing concerns from the CDC data that e-cigarettes will create a new generation of nicotine addicts who may eventually switch to conventional cigarettes.

    Electronic cigarette advocates argue that the CDC data could equally suggest that smoking rates fell because young people took up e-cigarettes instead of traditional cigarettes - which are proven to cause cancer and other illnesses.

    Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement, "Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use."

    Mitch Zeller, director of the tobacco division with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the data "forces us to confront the reality that the progress we have made in reducing youth cigarette smoking rates is being threatened."

    Zeller said, "These staggering increases in such a short time underscore why FDA intends to regulate these additional products to protect public health."

    In an interview, Jed Rose, director of the Center for Smoking Cessation at Duke University Medical Center, said, "But it is equally amenable to the interpretation that e-cigarettes are diverting young people away from cigarettes." Rose added, "There is no firm conclusion that one can draw from correlational data."

    Big tobacco companies such as Altria Group Inc. (MO-NYSE), Lorillard, Inc. (LO-NYSE) and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI-NYSE) are developing their own version of electronic cigarettes to increase their bottom line due to the drop in cigarette sales.

    The FDA is expected to publish rules on electronic cigarettes, hookah and other tobacco products in June 2015.

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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