Vaping continues to be a hit among American teens, a study shows, while alcohol and drugs use declined.
A report from the Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan, called Monitoring the Future, showed that 21 percent of senior students in high school vaped nicotine in the past 30 days, a 10 percent increase from last year's number. This is touted as the largest one-year spike for the entire 43 years of the annual study.
Increase In Teen Vaping
The annual survey, which pondered on drugs and alcohol use of 12th, 10th, and 8th graders from 2017 to 2018, showed that vaping is the second most abused: among Grade 8 students, 17.6 percent, an increase from last year's 13.3 percent; Grade 10, 32.3 percent vs 23.9 percent; and Grade 12, 37.3 percent against 27.8 percent.
Vaping uses electronic cigarettes to inhale vapors that simulates the feeling of smoking. It can contain substances like marijuana, flavoring, and nicotine. These vapes were created to help smokers quit the vice.
Although the number of vaping teens is staggering, the survey indicated that students have been drinking and using drugs like opioids lesser than the previous years.
Restrictions On Vaping
The increase in the vape usage of the underage is described by officials as alarming and gives light on an issue that could potentially lead to more serious concerns. Nora Volkow, the National Institute on Drug Abuse director, underlined the negative effects of nicotine, an addictive drug found in tobacco.
"The concern is these kids that become addicted to nicotine from vaping also may transition to tobacco smoking," Volkow added.
Although vapes were popularized to help cease tobacco use, critics say that the government isn't doing enough for restriction. In the study, two in three Grade 10 students found it "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get the device.
In November, the Food and Drug Administration proposed measures to limit sales of sweet e-cigarettes to the underage. This came on the heels of the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey that showed an increase of 78 percent of high school students vaping and 48 percent among middle schoolers.