Health Care

US surgeon general warns of teen risks from e-cigarettes

US surgeon general warns of teen risks from e-cigarettes”

While tobacco use has been effectively controlled among USA teenagers, nicotine vaping has nearly doubled among high school students from 11 per cent in 2017 to 20.9 in 2018 leading a large number back to nicotine use and addiction, a survey has found.

The data also showed that the number of high school seniors who reported vaping nicotine within the previous 30 days almost doubled from 11 percent in 2017 to 20.9 percent this year. New numbers from a study funded by the government show vaping has doubled among high-schoolers this year compared to last.

Behind drinking alcohol, vaping was the second-most common form of substance use, the study showed, with 17.6% of eighth-graders, 32.3% of 10th-graders and 37.3% of 12th-graders reporting vaping in the past year.

The survey has tracked drug, alcohol and cigarette use among teens since 1975.

The use of any kind of nicotine-containing product - including traditional cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco - by 12th-graders grew from 23.7 percent in 2017 to 28.9 percent in 2018.

Though teenage use of traditional tobacco cigarettes has been declining, public health officials warn that increased use of vaping devices may bring its own ramifications.

More than 10.9 percent of 10th graders said they used e-cigarettes in the past year, the survey said. The store does not sell Juul pods.

The restrictions proposed by the state legislature follow San Francisco's ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including vaping liquids and menthol cigarettes, which took effect in July. Other e-cigarettes use "e-juice" or nicotine liquids that not only come in appealing flavors but are often packaged to look like candy. Some researchers also believe vaping will make kids more likely to take up cigarettes, and perhaps later try other drugs.

What about vaping? "Vaping mostly is an individual activity", said David Jernigan, a Boston University researcher who tracks alcohol use.

The survey also found a significant jump in the perceived availability of e-cigarettes.

Around 45.7 percent of eighth graders and 66.6 percent of 10th graders said the vaping devices are "fairly easy" or "very easy" to get, the survey said.

Use of other illicit drugs - including cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy and hallucinogens - did not change substantially in the past year, according to the survey results. Marijuana has held steady overall over the past 20 years, although rates among the lowest age groups seem to have waned since 2013. It found 1 in 5 high school seniors reported having vaped nicotine in the previous month. The vaping boom the most significant single-year increase since the mid-1970s surge in marijuana smoking, as reported by The Associated Press.

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