Teens are vaping in record numbers as drug use drops
Teens are vaping in record numbers as drug use drops
A survey finds 1 in 5 high school seniors was vaping nicotine in 2018.
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19 December, 2018, 18:26
Juul said in November it would pull popular flavors such as mango, cucumber and fruit from many retail store shelves to reduce teenage use of its products. "We are very concerned about the increase in vaping".
Other e-liquid flavors seemed to be squarely aimed at kids, with packages that resembled frosted cookies and sour sweets.
The Monitoring the Future researchers agreed that stronger action was needed to keep vaping devices beyond the reach of minors. "They can do it in class if they're sneaky about it", Trina Hale, a junior student at South Charleston High School in West Virginia, told the AP.
The sharp increase in teen vaping was revealed in surveys completed by a nationally representative group of 13,850 students.
There's yet more disturbing news about kids vaping nicotine.
They found that the use of traditional cigarettes is still at a record low, with 3.6 percent of high school seniors smoking daily, compared with 22.4 percent two decades ago.
The annual survey, which also measures use of other substances including marijuana, alcohol and opioids, questioned more than 44,000 students from 8th, 10th and 12th grades in United States public and private schools.
Vaping jumped dramatically again among high school students between 2017 and 2018. When both categories of vaping were combined, the researchers found that 25 percent of high-school seniors, 20.3 percent of sophomores and 9.7 percent of eighth-graders used e-cigarettes in 2018.
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Another disturbing finding in the new survey is that more teens say they are inhaling "just flavoring" when they vape, increasing fears many adolescents don't realize they are inhaling high levels of nicotine.
The steady decline in teens' use of other drugs makes the growth in vaping all the more concerning, Compton said.
Use of prescription opioids and tranquilisers also declined in 2018.
What about vaping? "Vaping mostly is an individual activity", said David Jernigan, a Boston University researcher who tracks alcohol use.
"These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it", Miech added.
Students' growing attraction to vaping extended to marijuana, which increased by at least 50 percent across the board.
Two in three 10th graders told the MI researchers it was "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get a vaping device or nicotine-packed liquid pod. Other illicit drugs, including cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids, and MDMA as well as alcohol also remained at historic lows.
Although overall alcohol use didn't change, high-school seniors were less likely to engage in binge drinking in 2018. The vaping boom the most significant single-year increase since the mid-1970s surge in marijuana smoking, as reported by The Associated Press.
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