Data from the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey of eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders show high rates of e-cigarette use compared to a year ago, with rates doubling in the past two years, report researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
In 2019, the prevalence of past month nicotine vaping was more than one in four students in twelfth grade, one in five in tenth grade, and one in 11 in eighth grade.
“With 25% of twelfth graders, 20% of tenth graders, and 9% of eighth graders now vaping nicotine within the past month, the use of these devices has become a public health crisis,” said Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the survey.
“These products introduce the highly addictive chemical nicotine to these young people and their developing brains, and I fear we are only beginning to learn the possible health risks and outcomes for youth,” said Volkow.
“Parents with school-aged children should begin paying close attention to these devices, which can look like simple flash drives, and frequently come in flavors that are appealing to youth,” said co-investigator Richard Miech, PhD.
“National leaders can assist parents by stepping up and implementing policies and programs to prevent use of these products by teens,” said Miech, who also is a research professor with the Institute for Social Research Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan.
The authors’ letter, “Trends in Adolescent Vaping, 2017-2019,” was published by The New England Journal of Medicine. Additional findings from the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey will be released in December.