Vaping nicotine has become the most common type of substance used among young people, according to a long-term national study headed by University of Michigan researchers and reported by The Detroit News.
For the past four years, nicotine vaping has surpassed alcohol and cannabis use among eighth-grade students, said Richard Meech, the principal investigator. monitoring future studies, In 2022, 7% of eighth graders reported using nicotine in the past 30 days, while 6% used alcohol and 5% used cannabis.
In 2021, the number was tied between nicotine vaping and alcohol use among 10th graders, Mitch said, but in 2022, nicotine vaping increased among that group.
“This is the first time we’ve seen both eighth and 10th graders where nicotine vaping outperforms all other forms of substance use,” Mitch said.
Vaping Spike in 2018-09
Nicotine vaping was first added to the Monitoring the Future study, which began nearly half a century ago in 2017 and peaked in 2018 and 2019, the most notable increase in use of any substance in the study’s entire history.
“It was the biggest increase we’ve ever seen for any substance in 48 years,” Mitch said.
In 2019, the then-Chief Medical Executive of Michigan declared a public health emergency over a rise in teen e-cigarette use. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration was the first in the nation to deal with the increase.
In 2020, tobacco vaping stabilized among young people and the prevalence of alcohol and cannabis use decreased in 2021 and 2022.
Mitch said the decline occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic when students were attending school remotely.
“School is a huge risk factor for substance use,” Mitch said. “It’s where there are older kids who use drugs and encourage younger kids to use them and that’s where you can get substances from your classmates.”
Another explanation is the vaping brand JUUL, which has been accused of marketing to children by making flavors such as bubble gum, mint and chocolate appealing to young people.
“The US has banned these types of flavors in cigarettes, particularly because they attract children,” Mitch said. “In 2018 and 2019, there was no such restriction on flavors in vaping devices. Nowadays, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is working on implementing such a restriction for vaping products, although you can use any gas station or drugstore. And see all kinds of vaping flavors readily available.”
photo by Sebastian Radu on Unsplash