TEEN VAPING IS ON THE RISE AS OTHER DRUGS DROP IN POPULARITY
- December 18, 2018
Simply put, vaping among teenagers is on the rise, and the statistics from this year do not look promising. In fact, a recent survey has confirmed that, in a relatively short time frame, this habit has exceeded all other forms of substance abuse in the United States, except for drinking. Overall, that means that teenagers use more e-cigarettes than traditional tobacco cigarettes, joints (marijuana cigarettes), or any other type of drug. However, while teen drug use spiked from 2017 to 2018, the adolescent use of other substances have either remained stable or have dropped. So, what has changed and what has stayed the same? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
E-Cigarette Use Skyrockets
Based on reports, researchers struggle to keep tabs on teen vaping trends due to one reason: the variety of substances that can be put in e-cigarettes. Overall, smokers can insert liquid tobacco, nicotine, marijuana extract, or a variety of flavorings, meaning that studies cannot effectively measure what substances are being consumed (specifically). As part of the Monitoring the Future survey (sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse), researchers have taken a poll on 44,482 students (from the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades) from 400 private schools and public institutions across the United States.
As a result of Monitoring the Future, the following statistics were procured:
- 3 million more teenagers are vaping in 2018 than they did in 2017.
- 8% of high school seniors admitted to vaping over a 12-month period in 2017.
- 8% of high school seniors admitted to vaping in the past 12 months of 2017.
- 11% of high school seniors vaped nicotine before the survey in 2011.
- 21% of high school seniors have vaped nicotine in 2018.
Is Vaping Shifting Drug Culture?
In a bizarre twist, some researchers have considered if vaping has actually diverted teens’ attention from other types of addictive drugs. During a recent interview with ABC News, Dr. Wilson Compton (Deputy Director of NIDA) explained the public must be fully aware of these changes to take part in a second front against drug problems in our country. By practicing vaping, teens are actually becoming accustomed to “drug behavior,” allowing their brains to adapt to the rewarding feeling at a young age (when the mind is still developing).
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