Interesting Findings About Vaping Amongst Teens

Interesting Findings About Vaping Amongst Teens

Interesting Findings About Vaping Amongst Teens

A recent study titled, “Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2022,” has shed light on the patterns of tobacco use, including vaping, among American teenagers. The study found some noteworthy disparities, with the highest e-cigarette use reported among white students, and the highest cigarette or cigar use among black students.

In line with these findings, a national study conducted by the University of Michigan, based on data collected from the Monitoring the Future study, reported that vaping is one of the most common types of substance use among teenagers. The study found that among 8th grade students, 7% reported vaping nicotine in the past 30 days in 2022, compared to 6% who used alcohol and 5% who used cannabis. Among 10th graders, 14% reported vaping nicotine in the past 30 days, compared to 13.6% and 12% for alcohol and cannabis use, respectively.

A Drop in Substance Abuse Among Teens

New social trends and changes in youth socializing patterns have had an impact on substance use among adolescents. A study conducted by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found a drop in general substance abuse among US adolescents, except for cannabis and vaping.

Titled, “Adolescents’ Use of Free Time and Associations with Substance Use from 1991 to 2019,” the study examined data from 536,291 adolescents between 1991 and 2019. The researchers attributed the decline in substance use to new social trends such as low social engagement and participation in structured activities, including partying.

In France, a study conducted by the Observatoire Français des drogues et des tendances addictives (OFDT) found that the consumption of cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol has also dropped among teenagers. The study, which included 23,000 teenagers, attributed this decline to “a profound change in the perception of these uses, linked to the ‘denormalisation’ of tobacco and the change in the status of alcohol, which is no longer systematically perceived as an essential part of partying in the eyes of the new generations of adolescents.”

Teens Whose Parents Smoke Are More Likely to Vape or Smoke

A study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Barcelona, Spain, revealed that teenagers whose parents smoke are 55% more likely to try e-cigarettes. The study, conducted by researchers at the TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland (TFRI), analyzed data from 6,216 17-18-year-olds, including information on their smoking and vaping habits and whether their parents smoked during their upbringing.

The study found that teen vaping rates have increased dramatically, especially among girls. Moreover, teens whose parents smoked were approximately 55% more likely to have tried vapes and about 51% more likely to have tried traditional cigarettes.

Similar patterns have been observed before. A campaign released by the UK government titled “Better Health Smoke Free” aims to educate on how adult smokers can influence younger people to take up smoking. Research has shown that teens whose primary caregiver smoked were more than twice as likely to have tried cigarettes and four times as likely to become regular smokers compared to their peers whose parents do not smoke.

Vaping Among U.S. Teens has Dropped by a Third

According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), e-cigarette use among teens in the U.S. has dropped by a third. The school-based survey, conducted between January 16th and March 16th, indicated that 19.6% of high school students (equivalent to 3.02 million students) reported using e-cigarettes, down from 27.5% (4.11 million students) in 2019. Among middle school students, the figure dropped from 10.5% (1.24 million students) in 2019 to 4.7% (550,000 students).

In a study conducted by the University of Georgia (UGA), researchers explored the relationship between vaping and physical activity levels among high school students in Georgia. The study, titled “Electronic Vapor Product Use and Levels of Physical Activity Among High School Students in Georgia,” revealed that over 10% of Georgia high school students reported vaping at least once in the past month. Interestingly, physically active teens were found to be more likely to use vaping products compared to their less active peers.

Physically Active Teens May be More Likely to Vape

Specifically, teens who engaged in at least 60 minutes of physical activity were 23% more likely to vape, while those who were active two to three days a week were 11% more likely to vape. The study’s lead author, Janani, an associate professor in UGA’s College of Public Health, suggested that physically active teens may perceive vaping as a healthier alternative to traditional smoking. However, it should be noted that vapes are not completely safe, and perceiving them as a healthier option is a misconception. While vaping may be less harmful than smoking, it still carries risks.

It is crucial to stay informed about the latest research and trends in vaping among teenagers. Understanding the factors that contribute to teenage vaping can help parents, educators, and policymakers develop targeted prevention strategies and ultimately reduce the prevalence of vaping among young people.

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