Medicine

Teens are vaping in record numbers as drug use drops

Teens are vaping in record numbers as drug use drops

"We will be focusing much of our new prevention research on the period of time when teens transition out of school into the adult world and become exposed to the unsafe use of these drugs".

There is a new trend among teens, namely, vaping.

In the annual Monitoring the Future survey on drug use among adolescents, federally funded researchers reported Monday that more than one in three high school seniors and almost one in three sophomores say they vaped at least once in the past year.

According to the surgeon general in 2014, nearly two and a half million middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette ads in stores, Internet, TV, movies and magazines.

"What is it that we're doing right with teenagers that we're not doing with adults?" said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federal agency that funds the MI study. Last year, the annual survey found that prevalence of vaping was 13.3% among eighth-graders, 23.9% among 10th-graders and 27.8% among 12th-graders.

"Just a few years ago, we saw that over 10 percent of high school seniors reported using Vicodin in any given year".

"When we see rates of around 6 percent of high school seniors smoking marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis, that's an terrible lot of kids whose memory may be impaired and their brains aren't working at full steam at the exact time when they need to be", Compton said. This year, 44,482 students from 392 public and private schools participated in the survey. Analysts now estimate the company controls more than 75 percent of the US e-cigarette market. "However, it is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health and on the development of the teen brain, and the potential for addiction".

Research also has shown that teens who vape are more likely to take up cigarette smoking, he added.

"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". "The new data, however, underscore that far too many young people continue to drink at a time in their lives when their brains and bodies are quite vulnerable to alcohol-related harms".

More news: Feds launch probe into Trump's inauguration spending

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration, facing mounting pressure to act on the rising popularity of vaping devices, announced sweeping new restrictions on flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Surveys indicate many kids move back and forth between vaping and smoking.

There's yet more disturbing news about kids vaping nicotine.

Juul said in a statement that it shares the surgeon general's goal: "We are committed to preventing youth access of Juul products". "That means 2 or 3 kids in the typical class around this country are using marijuana on a pretty much a daily basis while they're in school", Compton said.

"We always want to see declines, but I think with the normalization and legalization and the big money behind marijuana products, steady is OK", Muench said. "This increase was driven exclusively by nicotine vaping", the researchers wrote.

The steady decline in teens' use of other drugs makes the growth in vaping all the more concerning, Compton said.

Smoking is at an all-time low, with only about 4 percent of high school seniors smoking daily, compared to 22 percent two decades ago.

Even though alcohol and binge drinking rates appeared to be on the decline, alcohol was still "the most frequently used substance" in the report, Volkow said. Regulators will need to pay close attention to the fast-changing market and be ready to modify their policies if necessary, they said.

"It's fascinating that despite the fact that we have very high rates of opioids and heroin among adults, adolescents have the lowest rates that we have seen since the inception of the survey", Volkow said.


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