More US Teens Are Vaping, But Use of Opioids, Alcohol Falls

Pearl Mccarthy
December 19, 2018

More teens also vaped marijuana, with 7.5% of high school seniors saying they used vape pens for weed in the last month, compared to 4.9% previous year.

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

Use of prescription opioids and tranquilisers also declined in 2018.

These health experts grew concerned as despite the fact that Public Health England has openly endorsed e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tools, data indicated that the number of smokers switching from smoking to vaping per year, has dropped from 800,000 to 100,000. Students are drinking less, with lower rates of binge drinking or being drunk.

Juul, the company that now dominates the market, says its mission is to create "a world where fewer people use cigarettes, and where people who smoke cigarettes have the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely, should they so desire".

The prevalence of nicotine vaping almost doubled among 10th-graders as well, with almost 1 in 6 using the electronic devices, researchers reported Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

E-cigarettes have been a divisive topic in the public health community.

"We know that nicotine affects brain development", said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at University of California-San Francisco who was not involved in this study.

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However, nowadays, marijuana use, along with other drugs consumption, has fallen to the third place, surpassed by vaping and alcohol. "It's really important that we keep an eye on this".

Some argue that e-cigs are a gateway to tobacco products.

Vaping involves the use of electronic cigarettes. That survey also found a dramatic rise in vaping among children and prompted federal regulators to press for measures that make it harder for kids to get them.

Juul said in a statement that it shares the surgeon general's goal: "We are committed to preventing youth access of Juul products".

Miech applauded the FDA's recent focus on kid-friendly flavors of vaping liquids.

Twenty-four other California counties or cities have restricted the sale of these products, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The flavors remain available via age-restricted online sales. In Minnesota, nine communities do.

Amongst other things, the Committee proposed reviewing provisions in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations, to include HnBs in the Government's annual review of safer nicotine products, and also reassess the evidence supporting the ban on snus.

"This is something that requires immediate action to protect our youth", Hill said.

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