NEW research has shown teen vaping rates have fallen for the second consecutive year
Despite recent headlines claiming more young people are being lured into using e-cigarettes, results from the latest National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) show vaping amongst high schoolers in America continues to drop.
Released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), use of e-cigarettes by youngsters has fallen from 16 per cent to 11.7 per cent since 2015 – equating to about a million fewer youth tobacco users taking up the habit
Experts hope the latest statistics will put parents’ concerns about teenage vaping to rest.
In recent months, the media and a number of interest groups across America have fuelled a huge moral panic claiming an “epidemic” of underage vaping has emerged, particularly in regards to the use of e-cigarette brand Juul, supposedly a favorite with teenagers.
The latest report is also a welcome sign for the vaping industry which has been working to persuade regulators that the introduction of e-cigarettes has not increased youth tobacco use.
Tony Abboud, president of the Vapor Technology Association, a trade group for the vaping industry said: “The CDC’s statistics demonstrate once again that e-cigarette curiosity amongst youth peaked in 2015 and now remains at a statistically significant reduced level in 2017, having dropped two years in a row.”
The survey results also provide hope that American regulators will follow their British counterparts by embracing vaping and e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco use.
In one encouraging sign, the American Cancer Society (ACS) on Wednesday released a public health statement on tobacco use that acknowledged the different health impacts of “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” or e-cigarettes as compared to smoking.
The statement acknowledged nicotine was the source of smokers’ addictions it explained how their toxicity is determined by many of the other chemicals in cigarettes.
While the ACS didn’t go so far to call e-cigarettes “safe” like medicinally administered nicotine, it stressed that they “are likely to be much less harmful than combustible tobacco products”.
In a victory for the vaping industry it also acknowledged consumers are often misinformed about the risks of vaping, with many believing they are as harmful as cigarettes and would promote it as being a better alternative to tobacco use.
It read: “Through our programs, services, and collaboration with health systems partners, ACS will promote tobacco-cessation strategies and develop both health care provider and consumer-facing materials that: Provide accurate, up-to-date information about combustible tobacco products and other novel tobacco products to smokers—making clear that use of any tobacco product can be harmful, but cigarette smoking is by far the most dangerous form of tobacco.”
The cancer charity’s support in promoting vaping is being seen as a major breakthrough in America as the first “balanced and honest statement” on e-cigarettes by a major public health group.
The change also marks a separation between the ACS and the Truth Initiative (formerly the American Legacy Foundation), the largest anti-tobacco public health non-profit in the country.
Abboud added: “The Truth Initiative has lost credibility on the issue of e-cigarettes with its constant refrain of fear and refusal to acknowledge the real science behind vaping and the real threat of combustible tobacco products.
“By contrast, the American Cancer Society should be applauded for presenting the first balanced and honest statement on e-cigarettes by a major public health group in the United States.”