Published: Wed, December 19, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

New report on substance abuse finds alarming number of teenagers vaping nicotine

New report on substance abuse finds alarming number of teenagers vaping nicotine

The FDA calls vaping a "youth epidemic".

"Teens are clearly attracted to the marketable technology and flavorings seen in vaping devices", says Volkow. 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.

While tobacco use has been effectively controlled among United States teenagers, nicotine vaping has nearly doubled among high school students from 11 per cent in 2017 to 20.9 in 2018 leading a large number back to nicotine use and addiction, a survey has found. An estimated 3.6 million USA teens are now using e-cigarettes, representing 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle schoolers, according to the latest federal figures.

In all that time, the researchers who conduct the survey have never seen a drug's popularity explode the way vaping did in the past year.

Researchers at the University of MI in Ann Arbor, who conducted the annual survey, asked 44,482 students from 392 private and public schools across the country about their use of tobacco, opioids, marijuana and alcohol.

E-cigarettes contain nicotine which both the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC report harms brain development, meaning learning, memory and attention capabilities can be adversely affected.

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"The policies and procedures in place to prevent youth vaping clearly haven't worked", said Richard Miech of the University of MI, who led the study.

Compton said more progress is needed, however. Accordingly, back then, the government prompted the FDA and other authorities to come up with measures to tackle this so-called vaping boom among teens.

The sharp increase in teen vaping was revealed in surveys completed by a nationally representative group of 13,850 students. Even as other forms of tobacco use declined among students, e-cigarettes continuously bucked that trend.

Reported use of e-cigarettes specifically in the last 30 days almost doubled among 10th and 12th graders, from 11 percent in 2017 to 20.9 percent in 2018, the survey said.

The findings mirror the latest results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which also found a dramatic increase in vaping. Some researchers also believe vaping will make kids more likely to take up cigarettes, and perhaps later try other drugs. "They have less perception of risk from use of marijuana".

"We're really astounded by how popular this has become", said Dr. Wilson Compton, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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