In 2019, there was a record number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes. 28% of high schoolers and 11% of middle schoolers canvassed by the National Youth Tobacco Survey admitted to vaping. The same survey conducted this year found usage dropped eight percent with high school students and six percent with middle schoolers.
Ben Chandler with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky said vaping has always been a health hazard, but it’s even more dangerous amid the Coronavirus pandemic. “What we’re concerned about mainly is underage people vaping because these vape products are full of nicotine and they end up addicting young people in many cases unknowingly to what amounts to tobacco products. They’re just not good for them. They’re particularly not good for them when COVID is raging. It has a particularly bad effect if you run into the COVID virus.”
Chandler credits the national effort of health groups to put measures in place that make it harder for children to get their hands on the product as a major factor for the decline in usage among minors. He went on to say the report also comes with some bad news. Among high schoolers who do vape, the amount who use heavily has gone up.
Health advocates want more to be done to remove all flavors from vaping products. While it’s been limited in some merchandise, Chandler said more needs to be done because 80% of young people who vape use flavored products.