The New Mexico Department of Health 2019 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, is a joint project between the Department of Health (DOH) and the state Public Education Department, and is conducted once every two years.
An article on the Albuquerque Journal sadly negates the fact that vaping products are safer alternatives to combustible tobacco products, and refers to the devices as tobacco products. To this effect, it complains that “tobacco use” has increased overall. “The survey indicated that the overall use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, among young people has increased by 23% since 2009, with more than one-third of high school students, 37.8% using some form of tobacco.”
“Teens have largely gotten the message about the dangers of smoking and pitched their Camels and Kools. But now, many are vaping, negating the gains the anti-tobacco forces hoped to see in New Mexico’s high schools,” added the article.
Tobacco harm reduction strides ignored
The fact that teens are moving away from cigarettes because they are taking up vaping instead, should be considered a victory for public health.
Public health and harm reduction experts have long been pointing out that given the relative safety of the devices, the fact that teens are moving away from cigarettes because they are taking up vaping instead, should be considered a victory for public health.
However, Dan Green, DOH survey epidemiologist, insists on the opposite. “From 2009 to 2019, cigarette smoking among youths decreased by 63%, cigar smoking among youths decreased by 54%, and chewing tobacco use declined by 50%,” said Green.
“What that means is the gains achieved by getting young people to turn away from smoking and chewing tobacco, were negated by the rising use of e-cigarette and vaping products,” he added.
The links between personality factors and nicotine use
Meanwhile, studies keep indicating that there are a multitude of personality-related factors associated with substance use. This means that individuals who have a natural inclination to experiment with substances, would in the absence of vaping products, most likely be smoking regular cigarettes instead.
One such study aimed to examine the link between neuroticism (the tendency to experience feelings such as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, depression and other negative emotions on a frequent basis) and the likelihood of substance use including cigarette/nicotine addiction.
Titled, “The Influence of Neuroticism in Terms of E-cigarette Dependence and Beliefs About Use and Quitting Among Dual Users of Combustible and Electronic Cigarettes,” the research analyzed data collected from a cross-sectional survey of 437 dual combustible cigarette and e-cigarette users. The compiled results did indeed indicate a relationship between neuroticism and e-cigarette dependence, and again, this was not surprising given that most vapers are ex-smokers.