Saturday August 24, 2019

New Survey Shows Rise of Nicotine Vaping Among US Teenagers

The study covered 44,482 students from 392 public and private schools in the US

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Nicotine vaping on rise among US teenagers: Survey. Pixabay

While tobacco use has been effectively controlled among US teenagers, nicotine vaping has almost 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.

“Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine,” said lead author Richard Miech, from the university’s Institute for Social Research.

“These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it,” Miech added.

The annual Monitoring the Future survey, by a team of researchers at the University of Michigan, showed that the increases in adolescent vaping from 2017 to 2018 have been the highest ever in the past 43 years for any substance use in the US.

The percentage of Class 12 grade students who reported use of nicotine in the past 30 days significantly increased to 28.5 in 2018 from 23.7 in 2017.

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.

Marijuana vaping also increased in 2018 — 13.1 per cent for 12th graders, up from 9.5 per cent last year.

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In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

“Vaping is making substantial inroads among adolescents, no matter the substance vaped,” said Miech, adding “In 2018 we saw substantial increases in vaping across all substances, including nicotine, marijuana, and adolescents who reported vaping ‘just flavouring.’

The survey showed that factors that make vaping so attractive to youth include its novelty and the easy concealability of the latest vaping devices, which better allows youth to vape without adults knowing about it.

“If we want to prevent youth from using drugs, including nicotine, vaping will warrant special attention in terms of policy, education campaigns, and prevention programs in the coming years,” Miech suggested.

The study covered 44,482 students from 392 public and private schools in the US.

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Interestingly, regular tobacco use remained at its lowest point with only 3.6 per cent of high school seniors smoking daily, compared to 22.4 per cent two decades ago.

Use of prescription opioids and tranquilisers also declined in 2018. Other illicit drugs, including cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids, and MDMA as well as alcohol also remained at historic lows. (IANS)

Next Story

US: CDC Identifies 193 Potential Cases of Severe Lung Illness Tied to Vaping in 22 States

E-cigarettes are generally thought to be safer than traditional cigarettes, which kill up to half of all lifetime users

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US, CDC, Vaping
FILE - A high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass., April 11, 2018. VOA

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it had identified 193 potential cases of severe lung illness tied to vaping in 22 states as of Aug. 22, including one adult in Illinois who died after being hospitalized.

The CDC has been investigating a “cluster” of lung illnesses that it believes may be linked to e-cigarette use, although it has not yet been able to establish whether they were in fact caused by vaping.

E-cigarettes are generally thought to be safer than traditional cigarettes, which kill up to half of all lifetime users, according to the World Health Organization. But the long-term health effects of vaping are largely unknown.

No link to specific product

US, CDC, Vaping
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that it had identified 193 potential cases of severe lung illness tied to vaping in 22 states as of Aug. 22, including one adult. Pixabay

In a briefing with reporters, representatives from health agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said they have not linked the illnesses to any specific product and that some patients had reporting vaping with cannabis liquids.

Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said the agency was analyzing product samples from states to identify any potentially harmful elements that may be triggering the illnesses.

He said health agencies were trying to learn which specific vaping products were used and whether they were being used as intended or mixed with other substances.

“Those kinds of facts need to be strung together for every single one of these cases, so that we can see if any other kinds of patterns have emerged,” Zeller said.

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The number of potential cases has more than doubled over the past week. On Aug. 17, the CDC said it was investigating 94 potential lung illnesses in 14 states.

Brian King, deputy director of research translation at the CDC’s smoking and health division, said it was possible there might have been earlier cases that health agencies had not identified.

Possible health implications

“The bottom line is that there’s a variety of things in e-cigarette aerosols that could have implications for lung health,” said King, adding that none of those compounds had been directly linked to the recent hospitalizations.

US, CDC, Vaping
The CDC has been investigating a “cluster” of lung illnesses that it believes may be linked to e-cigarette use, although it has not yet been able to establish whether they were in fact caused. Pixabay

In a statement Thursday, Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said he was “confident” the illnesses were being caused by devices containing cannabis or other synthetic drugs, not nicotine.

Patients have reported difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and sometimes chest pain before being hospitalized. Some have shown symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.

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“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement earlier. (VOA)