News & Opinion | December 18, 2019 12:10 pm

Report: Teens Replacing All the Other Vices With Vaping

Teens are over cigarettes and drinking, but their vaping habit is eclipsing any public health strides

teen vaping
Teens have ditched their parents vices for a new deadly one.
Getty

When it comes to the classic vices — drinking, cigarettes, drugs — today’s crop of teens are a bunch of squares, with federal data reflecting an across-the-board decrease in use among young people. But while teens have shirked the illicit substances of their forebears, they’ve replaced them with a vice of their own: vaping.

According to the New York Times, any public health gains from teens’ resistance to alcohol, smoking and hard drugs is largely offset by soaring rates of vaping. New data published Wednesday from an annual study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reveals sharp increases in vaping of marijuana and nicotine among teens, even in the past year alone.

In the survey, 14 percent of high school seniors said they had vaped marijuana in the last month, nearly double the 7.5 percent rate reported a year ago. Meanwhile, the percentage of teens who reported vaping marijuana at least once in the past year came close to doubling in two years, rising to 7 percent for eighth graders, 19.4 percent for 10th graders and 20.8 percent for 12th graders.

NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow called the trend “very worrisome.” Vaping is currently at the center of a massive public health crisis that unfolded earlier this year involving a serious lung infection linked to vaping that affected more than 2,000 people nationwide, including a large number of teens and young adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 2,409 hospitalizations related to vaping lung illness and 52 deaths across the country.

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