Daily Vaper

Teen Smoking Rates Plummet As Vaping Grows In Popularity

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Steve Birr Vice Reporter
Font Size:

The number of American teens who smoke continues to drop at a historic pace, according to newly released federal data showing vaping is now more popular than using tobacco.

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released the 2017 results of the annual Monitoring the Future Survey on Wednesday, showing reported cigarette use among 12th graders fell to only 4.2 percent this year, down from 24.6 percent in 1997. Vapor products meanwhile appear to be rising in popularity among teens, with nearly 28 percent of teens admitting to trying a vape device within the previous year of the survey, reports The New York Times.

Officials are focusing on the increase in vaping, which they say may lead teens into nicotine addiction and future tobacco use. The results are more complex however, with many students using vapes for marijuana, which function differently than a device delivering nicotine. More than 50 percent of students who admitted vaping in the previous year said they only used flavors that did not contain nicotine. Only 11 percent of 12th graders reported vaping nicotine in the survey.

“We’re impressed by the improvement in substance use by all teenagers,” said Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, according to The New York Times. “We don’t yet know about the health problems in vaping.”

Electronic cigarettes reduce harm caused by cigarettes to the user by up to 95 percent because the majority of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins from smoking are released through combustion.

Scientists at the University of Catania in Italy recently conducted a three-year study investigating the effects of regular vaping on the body of the user, finding “no evidence of health concerns associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes” on blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, exhaled breath nitric oxide and exhaled carbon monoxide.

Advocates of smoking alternatives say alarmism over vaping misses the larger point about e-cigarettes; namely, that they are a harm reduction tool helping millions of smokers quit across the country.

Follow Steve on Twitter

The Daily Caller News Foundation is working hard to balance out the biased American media. For as little as $3, you can help us. Freedom of speech isn’t free. Make a one-time donation to support the quality, independent journalism of TheDCNF. We’re not dependent on commercial or political support and we do not accept any government funding.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.