MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Richard Miech Ph.D
Principal Investigator, Monitoring the Future
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Every year Monitoring the Future conducts a survey to examine trends in adolescent substance use. We draw a random sample of schools from a list of all schools in the United States and conduct our survey in ~400 schools. Our survey is representative of U.S. 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. In other words, our results are what you would find if you surveyed every single 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in the United States, within the bounds of a small sampling error of a few percentage points.
An increase in vaping is the big news for 2018. In 10th and 12th grade the increase in nicotine vaping was the largest we’ve ever seen for any substance in the past 43 years. As a result of this increase in nicotine vaping, overall use of nicotine increased as well, which suggests that vaping is drawing youth into nicotine use. We also saw a significant increase in marijuana vaping.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Both the FDA commissioner and the Surgeon General have called for steps to reduce teen vaping. We need research on which policies and strategies will work and which do not. Social media appears to play a role in encouraging teen vaping, and much remains unknown about how to counter this influence of social media, and/or how to harness social media to effectively promote pro-health messages.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Ultimately the heart of the issue is that vaping companies can and have made substantial profit from youth vaping. If they can make billions of dollars by getting kids to vape, it seems likely they will continue to do so in the future. It seems to me the core goal here is set up policies and strategies so that vaping companies do not derive profit from youth vaping.
I declare no conflicts of interest.
December 17, 2018
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