Nicotine vaping on rise among U.S. teenagers

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The data also showed that the number of high school seniors who reported vaping nicotine within the previous 30 days almost doubled from 11 percent in 2017 to 20.9 percent this year.

The annual Monitoring the Future survey, by a team of researchers at the University of MI, showed that the increases in adolescent vaping from 2017 to 2018 have been the highest ever in the past 43 years for any substance use in the US.

The increase in vaping by 10th and 12th graders was the largest year-over-year jump for any substance ever measured by the survey, which started 44 years ago.

Among 10th-graders, nicotine vaping climbed at a record rate - doubling from 8 percent to 16 percent. No matter how nicotine is delivered, it is harmful for youth and young adults.

"The most surprising news to me was how frequently teenagers are vaping", Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which commissioned the survey, told NBC News.

"Intriguingly, when they go off to college or go to work, you see the highest rates of opioid use among 18 to 24 years of age".

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Though teenage use of traditional tobacco cigarettes has been declining, public health officials warn that increased use of vaping devices may bring its own ramifications.

California state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), lead author of the state bills, said his proposals would curb the "epidemic proportion" of vaping among teens.

"Also, perhaps educational campaigns about the high risk of overdoses that are associated with the use of these substances, and the high risk of addiction to these substances, all of these factors may have had a positive impact (on) teenagers". Therefore the ban on nicotine doses over 20mg/ml, is putting a stumbling block in that first step of a smoker's journey to a smoke free life. More than 25 percent claimed they vaped "just flavoring" in the past year, up from 20.6 percent in 2017.

"Kids have been able to get their hands on and use them in ways that are a lot easier to use than a combustible cigarette", Kovall said.

"I think numerous campaigns that are trying to make it harder to get access to prescription opioids have had an effect", Volkow said.

The 2014 edition of the Monitoring the Future study was the first to report that vaping had replaced smoking as the most popular way for teens to consume tobacco. "This increase was driven exclusively by nicotine vaping", the researchers wrote.

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Experts worry that the high nicotine content of vape products may be addicting a new generation of tobacco users.

Use of other illicit drugs - including cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy and hallucinogens - did not change substantially in the past year, according to the survey results. "Right now the number is more like 1.7 percent".

Daily cigarette use was reported by 0.8% of eighth-graders, 1.8% of 10th-graders and 3.6% of 12th-graders in 2018, the survey showed.

The survey found 36 percent of seniors used marijuana at least sometimes, and close to 6 percent said they used it daily. Fewer teens reported binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row).

"Even parents have a tolerance to alcohol, and in many instances, they maybe even provide the alcohol for parties that they are holding in their house, with the sense that, what harm is there to let teenagers drink when they are home?"

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