FRIDAY, October 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) – It turns out that the pandemic has reaped an unexpected benefit: As teens were more often confined to home, their use of e-cigarettes fell by nearly 40%, according to a new one. report.
U.S. health officials have said these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, but the decrease in vaping in 2021 is likely real and logical as teens often vape socially, an expert told the US. Associated press.
“They saw a dramatic drop from last year, and it’s hard to imagine that this doesn’t represent a real decrease in usage among high school and college students,” Dr. Nancy Rigotti of the Harvard University, which was not involved in the research, told the PA.
The survey found that 11% of high school students and less than 3% of middle school students reported having recently used e-cigarettes and other vaping products.
The previous year, nearly 20% of high school students and nearly 5% of middle school students had used electronic cigarettes, PA reported.
Prior to the pandemic, teen vaping was already on the decline as federal laws raised the purchase age of all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21, the PA reported. The United States Food and Drug Administration has also banned most flavored e-cigarette cartridges, which has boosted the popularity of vaping among teens.
Some teens may also have responded to the epidemic of vaping-related illness and death from vaping fluids containing THC, the active chemical in marijuana, the PA Noted.
Further investigations are needed to confirm these results, Rigotti said. As teens are now back in school, e-cigarette use may rebound.
However, “I’m sure the schools are working hard to make sure this doesn’t happen,” she added.
Government officials estimate that around 2 million American teens vape, a number they say is still far too high.
“Electronic cigarette use among young people remains a serious public health problem,” CDC specialist Karen Hacker said in an FDA press release on the investigation. “It is essential that we continue to work together to protect young people from the risks associated with the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. “