(HealthDay News) — The proportion of youth exposed to secondhand aerosol (SHA) from electronic cigarettes increased in 2018, according to a study published online Aug. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

Andy S.L. Tan, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues assessed trends in and factors associated with exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) from combusted tobacco and SHA from 2015 to 2018.

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The researchers found that about half of U.S. middle school and high school students reported SHS exposure in the previous 30 days (2015, 52.6 percent; 2016, 53.4 percent; 2017, 50.5 percent; and 2018, 48.7 percent). The prevalence of SHA increased from 2015 to 2018, with a significant upward trend in 2018 (2015, 25.2 percent; 2016, 26.5 percent; 2017, 25.6 percent; and 2018, 33.2 percent). The likelihood of being exposed to SHS and SHA was increased for girls (adjusted odds ratios [aORs], 1.96 and 1.68, respectively) and non-Hispanic whites (non-Hispanic blacks: aORs, 0.64 and 0.47) and was increased with ever e-cigarette use (aOR, 1.70 and 2.30) and 30-day e-cigarette use (aOR, 1.88 and 9.00), with other tobacco use in the previous 30 days (aOR, 1.36 and 1.33), and for those living with an e-cigarette user (aOR, 1.46 and 4.71).

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“Surveillance of SHA exposure trends, education about potential SHA harms for parents and youth, and interventions to reduce youth vaping are needed to protect young people from being exposed to all forms of tobacco product emissions, including from e-cigarettes,” the authors write.

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