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Teen vaping continues to rise at an alarming rate

20 December 2018
Teen vaping continues to rise at an alarming rate

The percentage of high school seniors who used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days almost doubled to 20.9 percent from previous year, results of a survey released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed on Monday.

More than 45,000 students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade took part in the survey.

The government's top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the USA, urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers.

A junior at South Charleston High School in West Virginia, Trina Hale, said that vaping, Juul, in particular, is a common habit among the teens in her high school.

University of MI researchers carried out this new, governmental-sponsored survey to reveal that by 100 percent more teens are vaping in comparison to 2017. Among 12th-graders, 29.7% reported vaping nicotine, 25.7% flavoring and 13.1% marijuana. For starters, nicotine is harmful to brain development.

Alcohol use also has declined.

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics in Stanford University's Division of Adolescent Medicine, called this increase in vaping alarming but not surprising because of new products, such as those from popular e-cigarette maker Juul.

If vaping does lead to cigarette use among teens, that may start to show up in the survey as early as next year, he added. Further, some researchers are concerned that vaping will serve as a "gateway drug" to cigarettes and other drugs. "Clearly, youth drug prevention messages needs to go beyond conventional drugs and include all forms of nicotine and vaping".

A total of 37.3 percent of 12th graders reported "any vaping" in the past 12 months, compared to 27.8 percent in 2017, the survey said.

Teens also report vaping products are getting easier to come by. "The consistency of these data suggests this is a real problem", Ling said.

Nicotine use is indicated by any use of cigarettes, large cigars, flavoured or regular small cigars, hookah, smokeless tobacco, or a vaping device with nicotine. Many experts say newer e-cigarettes like Juuls are partly to blame. "The increase in vaping goes against the trends for all other drugs and alcohol, which are declining".

This marks the largest annual increase in the 44-year history of the Monitoring the Future Survey, which takes a closer look at substance abuse among nationwide teenagers. Among 10th-graders, it jumped from 8.2 percent in 2017 to 16.1 percent in 2018, and among eighth-graders it rose from 3.5 percent last year to 6.1 percent this year. "Right now the number is more like 1.7 percent". This reflects attitudes among people their parents' age: As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, more people say they believe it is safe and natural.

Nicotine vaping on rise among United States teenagers: Survey. Students are drinking less, with lower rates of binge drinking or being drunk.

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. "We see increases in whether the kids have ever used them, whether they've used in the past year or the past month".

"Drug experimentation is a group activity", Volkow said.

Compton said more progress is needed, however. The MTF survey has been tracking substance use among teenagers since 1975.