Youth vaping surges in 2018
NEWTON — Vaping amongst youth is a public health concern that has plagued communities across the county and continues to surge at record proportions. Monitoring the Future, which has tracked national substance use among U.S. adolescents every year since 1975, reported 2018 had the largest year-to-year increase in substance use ever recorded in the U.S. for 10th and 12th grades, as a result of youth vaping at an epidemic level. The percentage of 12th grade students who reported vaping nicotine in the past 30 days nearly doubled, rising from 11% in 2017 to 21 percent in 2018.
As a result of this increase, one in five 12th grade students vaped nicotine in the last 30 days in 2018. Among 10th grade students, nicotine vaping also increased at a record rate as it doubled and rose from 8 percent to 16 percent. Among 8th grade students, nicotine vaping in the past 30 days increased 2.6 percent to 6.1 percent.
Marijuana vaping also increased in 2018. In 12th grade, 7.5% of students surveyed in 2018 indicated vaping marijuana within last 30 days, as opposed to 4.9 percent in 2017. Similarly, in 10th grade marijuana vaping significantly increased to 7.0% from 4.3% in 2017 and in 8th grade it increased to 2.6% as compared to 1.6% in 2017.
In addition to the release of Monitoring the Future data, on December 18th the Surgeon General declared E-Cigarette Use Among Youth an Epidemic and released an Advisory on E-Cigarette use Among Youth. “I, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, VADM Jerome Adams, am emphasizing the importance of protecting our children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. The recent surge in e-cigarette use among youth, which has been fueled by new types of e-cigarettes that have recently entered the market, is a cause for great concern. We must take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people.” The advisory which can be read in its entirety by visiting www.hhs.gov is fact laden and dispels the myths commonly associated with e-cigarettes. Youth prevention education geared towards parents, teachers and health professionals, are also made available in the advisory, which includes product identification, quit services and tips for talking with teens about e-cigarette use.