Published: Thu, December 20, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Vaping among teens spikes, luring new generation of kids into tobacco use

Vaping among teens spikes, luring new generation of kids into tobacco use

Vaping among America's teenagers continues to climb, while the use of other substances - such as alcohol and opioids - has declined in recent years, according to a new report. Instead of burning tobacco like traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes heat up a fluid containing nicotine, generating a vapor laced with the potent drug. Researchers in the United Kingdom have also found that as more adults smoke e-cigarettes, fewer adults are smoking cigarettes, the Guardian reported. No matter how nicotine is delivered, it is harmful for youth and young adults.

Experts say it's not clear what's behind those trends, especially since the nation is in the midst of the deadliest drug overdose epidemic ever.

The percentage of high school seniors who say they vaped nicotine in the past 30 days almost doubled this year, a dramatic increase that federal officials want to curb with new rules and restrictions.

"We've seen a softening of the attitudes toward marijuana, and youth respond to those", Compton said.

Compton said more progress is needed, however.

"So we have a culture about drinking that is very accepted but that is slowly changing".

The percent of 12th-graders who said they only vaped flavoring in the past year increased to 25.7 percent in 2018, up from 20.6 percent in 2017.

The study covered 44,482 students from 392 public and private schools in the US. Only 3.6 percent of high school seniors reported they smoke cigarettes daily, compared to 22.4 percent 20 years ago. Other illicit drugs, including cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids, and MDMA as well as alcohol also remained at historic lows. Misuse of opioids and opioid deaths have reached record numbers among adults aged 21 to 65. "That means one in 10 high school seniors was using these unsafe prescription opioid medications", Compton said.

Saudis reject Senate's rebuke of crown prince in Khashoggi killing
The resolutions can not be debated in the House of Representatives before January, and are likely to be vetoed by Trump. In its retort, Saudi Arabia said on Monday that the country categorically rejects the accusations made against it.

"Research tells us that teens who vape may be at risk for transitioning to regular cigarettes", says Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of NIDA, in a statement. "Right now the number is more like 1.7 percent".

While binge drinking among seniors has seen a major fall - from 31.5 percent in 1998 to 13.8 percent - it remains a primary concern.

Just 17.5 percent of 12th graders said they had been drunk in the past 30 days, down significantly from 26 percent in 2013, the survey showed. "We will be focusing much of our new prevention research on the period of time when teens transition out of school into the adult world and become exposed to the risky use of these drugs".

Students' growing attraction to vaping extended to marijuana, which increased by at least 50 percent across the board.

"Even parents have a tolerance to alcohol, and in many instances, they maybe even provide the alcohol for parties that they are holding in their house, with the sense that, what harm is there to let teenagers drink when they are home?"

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.

Another disturbing finding in the new survey is that more teens say they are inhaling "just flavoring" when they vape, increasing fears many adolescents don't realize they are inhaling high levels of nicotine.

Maggie Fox is a senior writer for NBC News and TODAY, covering health policy, science, medical treatments and disease.

Like this: