About a quarter of high school seniors reported recently vaping in a 2019 survey, more than double the rate in 2017, according to new data.
The University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research released its findings following reports of 380 confirmed or probable cases of serious lung illness and seven deaths linked to vaping.
Researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 42,000 students in eighth, 10th and 12th grades as part of the annual Monitoring the Future study typically released in December. About 25% of 12th graders reported vaping in the 30 days before the 2019 survey, up from 21% in 2018 and 11% in 2017, according to the report in The New England Journal of Medicine. About 20% of 10th graders reported recent vaping, up from 16% in 2018 and 8% in 2017. Among eighth graders, 9% recently vaped, up from 6% and 3.5% in 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Asked about vaping in the past 12 months, 35% of 12th graders, 31% of 10th graders and 16% of eighth graders admitted to doing so.
Authors also pointed to data showing 12% of 12th graders, 7% of 10th graders and 2% of eighth graders had vaped almost daily, which they said “suggest the development of nicotine addiction.” They called efforts to stop vaping “insufficient.”
“New efforts are needed to protect youth from using nicotine during adolescence, when the developing brain is particularly susceptible to permanent changes from nicotine use and when almost all nicotine addiction is established,” researchers wrote.
The AAP has been pushing for stronger federal regulations to keep e-cigarettes out of children’s hands, urging lawmakers to restrict all sales to anyone under 21 years and pushing for faster premarket review by the Food and Drug Administration. It also has been calling for a ban on flavored products. Last week, it applauded the Trump administration after it announced a proposal to pull flavored e-cigarettes from the market.