Saturday, 18 November, 2017

First Decline Seen in 'Vaping' Among US Teens: CDC

The liquid used in e-cigarettes comes in fruit and candy flavors like cherry and peppermint The liquid used in e-cigarettes comes in fruit and candy flavors like cherry and peppermint. Paul J. Richards AFP Getty Images
Carol Daniels | 17 June, 2017, 11:31

The findings are in line with the University of Michigan's annual Monitoring the Future survey, which showed a drop in youth vaping in 2016 down to 13 percent of high school students.

Current e-cigarette smokers were almost 18 times more likely than people who never tried the products to think the secondhand vapors posed no dangers to children, while former e-cigarette users were over seven times more likely to have this opinion, according to the report published in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

The number of middle and high school students who used any tobacco product fell to 3.9 million in 2016 from 4.7 million in 2015. Some studies, most notably the Royal College of Physicians, have determined that e-cigs may be 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes. "The FDA has invested heavily in compelling, science-based education campaigns, such as 'The Real Cost, ' that have already helped prevent almost 350,000 kids from smoking cigarettes, and continues to enforce important youth access restrictions".

Teen smoking rates have hit new lows in the US and, for the first time, fewer high school students are trying e-cigarettes, new data show.

For middle-schoolers, rates of e-cigarette use dropped as well. Use of other tobacco products has decreased as well.

"It's actually quite remarkable from a public health standpoint", said Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health, which produced the new report, according to NPR.

The results from the recent 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that compared to 2015, there were fewer users of tobacco products in 2016.

While e-cigarettes are believed to be less unsafe than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, their popularity has sparked an intense debate over benefits and harms.

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The decline in traditional and e-cig usage was applauded both by anti-tobacco advocates, who want to severely limit or ban innovative tobacco and nicotine products along with traditional cigarettes, and anti-smoking advocates, who believe there is a prominent societal role for the innovation products.

The study also found that many youth report using multiple tobacco products; 1.8 million middle and high school students reported using two or more tobacco products in the past 30 days.

She also said that the rapid decline in e-cigarettes among high schoolers suggests much of that use "has been experimental and that the current offering of products may be less appealing" than had once been feared.

A significant decline was also recorded among high school users of hookah, combustible tobacco products, and two or more tobacco products from 2015 to 2016.

The decline in cigarette use follows a broad array of public health campaigns and coincides with the rise of vaping.

Experts suggest that youth with their developing brains are particularly at risk when it comes to long term effects of nicotine when consumed from such young age. The e-cigarette industry, which includes small vaping businesses as well as the large tobacco companies, has said that the rules are onerous and will drive them out of business. In addition, 2015's 3 million e-cigarette users dropped to under 2.2 million users in 2016.

Youth tobacco product use: What can be done? "However, on balance the bad news is that we've still got 4 million teenagers using tobacco", he said. Because of this, authorities are continuous in their efforts to educate the youth about the implications and dangers of tobacco use as well as tobacco-based diseases and deaths.

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