Kids Still smoking… So they Blame Vaping? — Most of the anti-vaping discussion centers on e-cigarettes and vape devices as smoking cessation tools. And their lack of current FDA regulation ensures this discussion will continue. But we have to admit, we never thought we’d see the day when vape devices would be blamed for MORE people smoking.
According to members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), youth cigarette smoking rates have stopped falling after years of declining numbers. But now numbers are flattening out, and certain CDC reps are pointing the responsibility toward vaping.
“We were making progress, and now you have the introduction of a product that is heavily popular among youth that has completely erased that progress,” said Brian King of the CDC.
Of course, much of this “revelation” could come from the CDC’s own survey, which asked more than 20,000 middle and high school students about their tobacco and nicotine product use over a 30-day period. The results, as we’ve discussed before, revealed that children remain intrigued by tobacco products, with 8% of high schoolers and 2% of middle schoolers claiming to have used some form of tobacco/nicotine delivery vehicle over that time span.
But the lion’s share of King’s claim might come from the finding that roughly 40% of high school students who had used some form of tobacco product also claimed to use a combination of vaping and traditional smoking. In other words, kids who are smoking are also vaping/JUULing.
Teen Vaping Concern
As a site devoted to the ADULT use of vaping products, we are concerned by the growth in teen vaping – 28% of high schoolers who had tried vaping claimed to have used them 20 or more days during the 30-day span. That represents 40% growth over the previous year.
Alarming numbers, to be sure. Numbers we hope drop in short order. But even with these concerning statistics, is there enough evidence to pinpoint e-cigarettes and vaping as a gateway to tobacco? Sorry, but that isn’t clear.
“It’s not clear yet what’s going on and it’s best to not jump to any conclusions,” said David Levy, a Georgetown University researcher.
Of course, others disagree, claiming that this provides natural evidence that e-cigs and vape devices are a “gateway” to regular tobacco use.
Spinfuel VAPE’s Viewpoint
With all of this difference of opinion – even among researchers – how can we quantify the factors that cause youth to use vape products?
On one hand, vape products could offer the same sense of “edge” and rebellion that cigarettes have had for decades. In short, if youth want to show how “grown up” they are, smoking and vaping are among the ways they’ll choose to do so. See also: drinking, drug use, etc.
We also think a good amount of the blame needs to be shouldered by the media itself. With JUUL products in the news nearly everyday, and increased sensationalist reporting about vaping pervading the web, it’s only natural that curious teenagers would want to try them. What was once a niche market is now dealing with mass exposure – even if the press is trying to vilify them as the next target in its crosshairs.
It should be noted that the CDC report also indicated certain states were still seeing reduced smoking numbers, so there’s still signs of hope. Our fingers are crossed that further research sees declines after the novelty and mass exposure of vaping wear off, leaving fewer teens involved with these adult products.