More US Teens Are Vaping, But Use of Opioids, Alcohol Falls

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The one-year rise in vaping were mirrored by changes in the perception of availability of e-cigarettes, the institute said in its report, with more 8th and 10th graders reporting that vaping devices and e-liquids containing nicotine were easier to obtain in 2018 than in 2017. More teens also vaped marijuana, with 7.5% of high school seniors saying they used vape pens for weed in the last month, compared to 4.9% previous year. The news come as the FDA is scrambling to address teenage access to electronic cigarette and liquid nicotine products.

The trend has trickled down to middle schoolers, with 10.9 percent of eighth-graders saying they've also used e-cigarettes in the past year.

Behind drinking alcohol, vaping was the second-most common form of substance use, the study showed, with 17.6% of eighth-graders, 32.3% of 10th-graders and 37.3% of 12th-graders reporting vaping in the past year.

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. "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".

University of MI researchers carried out this new, governmental-sponsored survey to reveal that by 100 percent more teens are vaping in comparison to 2017. Under it, officials plan to distribute anti-vaping materials to high schools, such as posters that will be put in public school bathrooms.

Use of other illicit drugs among teens was flat or declined. Even more worrisome, a growing body of research suggests that teens who vape are more likely to try regular cigarettes.

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Other e-liquid flavors seemed to be squarely aimed at kids, with packages that resembled frosted cookies and sour sweets.

In this February 20, 2014 file photo, a customer exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in NY.

But Muench argued that, given how opinions on marijuana have shifted, it could actually be a good sign that use has remained steady among teenagers. "The consumer doesn't always know that, so they may not be aware that they're using nicotine when they're using this product".

Prescription opioid use (such as OxyContin or Vicodin) has declined to about 3 percent among 12th graders.

Amongst other things, the Committee proposed reviewing provisions in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations, to include HnBs in the Government's annual review of safer nicotine products, and also reassess the evidence supporting the ban on snus.

Compton said more progress is needed, however. The proportion of students who said they downed five or more drinks in a row at least once in the previous two weeks fell to 14 percent, from almost 17 percent in 2017.

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