Vape debate: Are e-cigarettes wiping out teen smoking?

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. smoking rate among high schoolers took its biggest hit ever this year, falling to a new low.

Normally the lower numbers from the U.S. government would have anti-tobacco advocates cheering. But instead, the decline in teen smoking has been overshadowed by the startling rise in underage vaping.

Some health experts believe the drop in teen smoking is another sign that e-cigarettes could ultimately benefit public health.

They argue that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than traditional cigarettes. And they could eventually save millions of lives by providing a less-deadly alternative for adult smokers. On top of that, they may be the primary reason young people are abandoning regular cigarettes.