Teen E-Cig Use Has Doubled, Survey Says

More than 1 in 9 high school students report ‘near daily’ vaping
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — Convenience-store retailers hoping the scrutiny surrounding flavored e-cigarettes and teens would die down will probably be disappointed with preliminary results from two national surveys, both reporting a significant rise in young people vaping.

In a study of high school students, more than 1 in 9 seniors reported vaping nicotine on a “near daily basis,” according to the Monitoring the Future Survey, which is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The New England Journal of Medicine published preliminary results from the survey in mid-September, saying the share of teens who said they vaped nicotine in the preceding 30 days more than doubled for each age group surveyed.

The Washington Post reported on the article and comments from authors of the survey, saying the descriptor of “near daily” suggests nicotine addiction.

Almost a quarter of seniors said they had vaped within the previous month, an increase from closer to 1 in 5 the previous year. About 20% of 10th graders and 9% of eighth graders also said they vaped during the same period.

Those results echo what U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said were preliminary results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC's) National Youth Tobacco Survey, which showed a continued rise in e-cigarette use. More than a quarter of high school seniors used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days in 2019, with a majority of them saying they used fruit, mint or menthol flavors.

The information bolsters recent efforts to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes and vaping in general. The latest of these developments includes tweeted reactions from President Donald Trump, as well as the governors of Michigan and New York deciding to ban flavored e-cigarettes through executive order.

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