HealthDay News — About 9 percent of high school students in California have heard of heated tobacco products (HTPs), and 0.67 percent have ever tried HTPs, according to a study published online July 26 in Pediatrics.

Shuwen Li, from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues examined high school students’ awareness, use, and susceptibility pertaining to HTPs in a large cross-sectional survey of 150,516 randomly sampled 10th and 12th graders in California.

The researchers found that 8.9 percent of the students had heard of HTPs. The most frequently mentioned source of having heard of HTPs was the internet or social media (39.1 percent), followed by a friend or someone else (32.5 percent). About 0.67 percent had ever tried HTPs and 0.20 percent were current users (about 30 percent of ever users continued to use HTPs). Overall, 18.3 percent of those who had never tried HTPs were susceptible to future use. Susceptibility was greater among users of cigarettes or e-cigarettes than among nonusers.

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“This study, based on a large representative sample, found that 9 percent of high school students were aware of HTPs despite their restricted market availability. A small number of students had even experimented with HTPs,” the authors write. “The public health community needs to monitor HTP developments, especially related promotional activities, and the impact they may have on youth.”

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