A government study shows a sharp rise in the use of electronic cigarettes by young people, a trend that public health authorities called troubling.

The study could influence how the Food and Drug Administration regulates the battery-powered devices, which turn nicotine-laced liquid into vapor and represent a small but fast-growing alternative to traditional cigarettes. The FDA hopes to propose regulations for e-cigarettes by next month.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the percentage of high-school students who reported ever using an e-cigarette rose to 10% in 2012 from 4.7% in 2011. The rate among middle-school students rose to 2.7% from 1.4%. The findings come from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, a questionnaire given annually to roughly 20,000 students.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal