Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023
As health experts panic over teen vaping, data shows a decline

Last Thursday, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy made headlines by boldly proclaiming that teen e-cigarette use is a “major public health problem.” The claim came along with a government report detailing some striking numbers, including that e-cigarette use among high school students increased by more than 900 percent between 2011 and 2015. vaping can inflate rates of teen smoking and lifelong nicotine addictions.

But newly released data will dispel some of that alarm.

In 2016, teen e-cigarette use dropped for the first time since the devices gained popularity over the past decade, according to public health researchers at the University of Michigan. And e-cigs aren’t the only unfashionable substance among young people — teen use of regular cigarettes, as well as alcohol and illicit drugs, continued its long-running decline, hitting an all-time low this year.

In a statement, the Michigan study’s lead researcher, Lloyd Johnston, noted that while many children are still at risk for substance abuse, drug use trends are “going in the right direction.”

In terms of e-cigarettes, “it’s too early to know if this year’s dip is peaking or pausing,” said Richard Miech, another Michigan researcher. “In the past, we’ve seen new drugs follow a pattern where use increases at a rapid rate during a honeymoon period and then reverses course and declines as knowledge of the substance’s harms becomes known.

In 2011, when e-cigarettes were on the rise, about 1.5 percent of high school students said they had vaped at least once in the 30 days leading up to the survey. In 2015, that number jumped to 16 percent, the source of that “more than 900 percent” statistic. But in 2016, vaping dropped to 13 percent for twelfth graders and 11 percent for tenth graders. Kids in eighth grade also saw a dip from 8 percent to 6 percent.

In addition, it is worth emphasizing that these percentages also include children who vaped only once or a few times in the 30 days prior to completing the survey. In 2015, only 2.5 percent of high school students said they vape frequently — defined as 20 or more days in the past 30. That’s just 15 percent of those who said they vape in the past 30 days.

For cigarettes, the decline in teen use continued this year. After peaking in 1997, teen smoking levels in 2016 are the lowest levels ever recorded in 42 years of tracking. Among twelfth graders, those who smoked in the 30 days prior to the study fell from 11.4 percent in 2015 to 10.5 percent in 2016. For tenth graders, that figure dropped from 6.3 percent to 4.9 and from 3.6 percent to 2.6 percent among eighth graders. class of students.

This point is especially important because the main concern about young people’s use of e-cigarettes is that it will entice them to smoke, paving the way for lifelong addictions.

In a statement, Deborah Arnott, CEO of Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), a major anti-smoking group in the UK, said:

ASH is surprised at the level of concern expressed by the Surgeon General about e-cigarettes. Young people are experimenting with e-cigarettes in both the US and UK, but vaping is not associated with an increase in smoking, a point the report does not make sufficiently clear.

Vaping advocates are not so much surprised as annoyed by the Surgeon General’s recent claim. “This is another politically motivated attack on an industry that helps people quit smoking,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in a statement.

The new data from Michigan researchers also pointed to record lows in alcohol use, including binge drinking, as well as illegal drugs, such as marijuana and ecstasy. The data will be published in full in January by Michigan’s ongoing Monitoring the Future study group.

By akfire1

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