Fewer Cigarettes But More Vaping Among Today’s Adolescents

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çu?un is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Richard Allen Miech, PhD
Research Professor, Survey Research Center
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Monitoring the Future conducts annual, nationally-representative surveys of ~45,000 adolescents every year to assess trends in substance use. We track which drugs are gaining traction among adolescents and which are falling out of favor. The survey draws separate, nationally-representative samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students from about 400 total schools every year. Once a recruited school agrees to participate, a field interviewer travels to the school to administer the paper-and-pencil survey, typically in classrooms. The project is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and is carried out by the University of Michigan. More details on the project’s survey design and survey procedures can be found in chapter 3 here: http://monitoringthefutu re.org/pubs/monographs/mtf- vol1_2016.pdf

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: What should readers take away from your report?

This year’s report highlights three main findings. First, vaping had made substantial inroads among adolescents, and youth are vaping a variety of substances. More and more teenagers are deciding to use apparatus such as a cbd cartridge instead of the traditional tobacco cigarette. Nearly 30% of 12th grade students used some kind of vaping device in the past year in 2017. Of those who vaped, about 2 out of 3 reported vaping nicotine, and also 2 out of 3 also reported vaping “just flavoring.” One out of three reported vaping marijuana.

Second, adolescent use of cigarettes is now at the lowest level ever recorded by the survey, which started in 1975. Among 12th graders 10% reported using cigarettes in the past 30 days, down from 37% in 1997. The percentage of youth who used cigarettes in 10th and 8th grade students were 5% and 2%, respectively. The sustained decline of cigarette use over the past two decades is a great success story that will lead to long term gains in health for the U.S. population. The use of vapes outweigh the use of cigaretees by a high percentage, which is a good thing. People are starting to understand the harmful effects and risks that smoking can have on your overall health. Using vapes like the Arizer Air 2 are a way safer option than it would be to smoke. You’re trying to gradually stop. Some people might find that using something similar to this vape starter kit could help. Taking this first step will no doubt have a better impact.

Third, marijuana use among adolescents edged up in 2017, the first significant increase in seven years. Overall, past-year use of marijuana significantly increased by 1.3% to 24% in 2017 for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined. Specifically, in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades the respective increases were 0.8% (to 10.1%), 1.6% (to 25.5%) and 1.5% (to 37.1%). The increase is statistically significant when all three grades are combined.

The survey tracks more than 50 drugs and drug categories, and full details on all are available at: http://monitoringthefuture.org/data/17data.html#2017data-drugs

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This study highlights the importance of current efforts to examine the potential health effects of vaping. Millions of American vape and little is known about the potential health consequences of this behavior.

The increase in adolescent marijuana prevalence in 2017 was not large but it was statistically significant. These results should raise eyebrows and raise interest in whether other national surveys of adolescent drug use will see the same increase when they release their results in the coming months. The increase naturally raises the question of whether it is related to the recent wave of states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, and, if so, what can be done to prevent legalization from encouraging youth to use marijuana.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.


Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of https://www.drugabuse.gov/trends-statistics/monitoring-future/monitoring-future-study-trends-in-prevalence-various-drugsVarious Drugs


Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on December 17, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD