Federal Study Shows An Increase in Vaping Among Teens

Federal researchers reported Monday that America’s teens recorded a dramatic increase in the use of vaping devices over the last year.

The 2018 Monitoring the Future survey says 37.3 percent of 12th-graders used a vaping device in the past 12 months, compared with 27.8 percent in 2017. The survey goes to a representative sample of eighth, 10th and 12th graders in schools nationwide.

Other findings:

  • High school seniors who reported vaping in the last 30 days climbed from 11 percent in 2017 to 20.9 percent in 2018.
  • Eighth-graders who say they vaped nicotine in the last year was 10.9 percent.
  • Twelfth-graders who reported vaping marijuana rose from 9.5 percent last year to 13.1 percent for 12th graders.

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said teenagers are attracted to the technology and flavorings available in vaping devices.

She added teens need to know the possible effects of vaping on their health, the development of their brains and the potential for addiction.

Montgomery County Public Schools has been teaching students about vaping since 2014.

Cara Grant, the school system’s supervisor of health and physical education, describes what students are taught and the help they can receive:

The report also had these findings:

  • Only 3.6 percent of high school seniors smoke daily, the lowest point since the survey began measuring tobacco use. Two decades ago, the figure was 22.4 percent.
  • Teenage misuse of prescription opioids is at 3.4 percent, a decline from 4.2 percent in 2017.
  • Heroin use remained low. Only 0.4 percent of 12th-graders reporting using heroin in the past year.
  • About 5.8 percent of 12th-graders use marijuana daily.
  • Teen drinking has declined. The latest survey said 17.5 percent of 12th-graders reported they have been drunk in the past 30 days. Five years ago, the figure was 26 percent.

The survey questioned 44,482 students from 392 public and private schools. For more information on the MTF Survey, visit www.drugabuse.gov/drugpages/MTF.html.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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