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Electronic Vapor Products and High School Athletes: Smoking Out a Problem You May Not Be Aware Of

December 15, 2022

High school students are increasingly using electronic vapor products (EVPs). In a study being early released in Pediatrics, Rappaport et al describe EVP use among teens on sports teams (10.1542/peds.2021-055565).

The authors provide an analysis of 3 waves of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2015, 2017, and 2019) regarding the associations between sports team participation and past 30-day exclusive cigarette use, EVP use, and dual cigarette/EVP use. The study compared 16,790 adolescent athletes with 13,972 teens not on sports teams. Although exclusive cigarette use and dual use was less common in teen athletes compared, the odds were greater for any EVP use.  However, among all who used EVPs, teens on sports teams less frequently than other teens. The authors provide some insight as to why EVP use might be more popular among teens on sports teams in the discussion section of their study. 

Do you ask your teen athletes whether they are vaping or do you assume they are not because they play a sport? If the latter, this study may have you thinking differently about the strategies you need to use to educate student athletes about the health risks of EVP use. It may be worthwhile talking to coaches at your local high school as well as your local high school health education teachers to see if vaping is discussed with high school sports teams or even share this study with the coaches and patients on high school sports team. You might score some big preventive health points that will reduce the odds of EVP use.

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