A new survey warns that teenage use of vaping devices has increased substantially in a single year. According to the 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) report, 37.3-percent of high school-aged teenagers reported having vaped at some point over the last year, this compared to 27.8-percent from last year’s survey. The news come as the FDA is scrambling to address teenage access to electronic cigarette and liquid nicotine products.
In addition to the increase in the number of 12th graders who reported vaping over the last 12 months, the survey also found that the number of high school seniors who used a nicotine e-cigarette in the 30 days before the survey had jumped from 11- to 20.9-percent.
Vaping use is also seen among younger teens, with the MTF survey likewise finding that more than one of every 10 8th graders reported vaping nicotine liquid in the past 12 months. A similar, though less drastic, increase in cannabis vaping was also observed; the numbers increased from 9.5-percent among 12th graders in 2017 to 13.1-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. NIDA director Nora D. Volkow explained, “…it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health; the development of the teen brain; and the potential for addiction.”
The FDA, in addition to cracking down on e-cigarette companies, launched an educational campaign targeted at teenagers earlier this year. Under it, officials plan to distribute anti-vaping materials to high schools, such as posters that will be put in public school bathrooms.