During a recent visit at Mountain Vista High School, Governor John Hickenlooper spoke to students about the rise in vaping. “JUULing is the most popular one,” said Abdi Bhandari, a senior at the High School. Other students agreed that vaping has become increasingly common. “It is right now, one in four teenagers in Colorado that are vaping,” replied Hickenlooper.

Colorado ranks the highest for youth vaping, out of 37 states surveyed across the United States.
Earlier this year, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released results of the Colorado Healthy Kids Survey. This indicated that indeed Colorado ranks the highest for youth vaping, out of 37 states surveyed across the United States.

On the other hand, Justin Zamora a daily vape user and employee at a local vape shop, points out that it’s important to keep facts in perspective. “I don’t think it’s fair because this is helping more people than it’s hurting,” he said, adding, “I hate it because it’s just like they’re scrutinizing our industry when there’s underage drinkers, there’s underage weed smokers, there’s underage tobacco smokers.”

Zamora went on to explain how he has seen first hand how vaping can help smokers kick their habit. “I’ve had customers come in reeking of cigarettes and then a couple weeks later they smell like vape coming in and they’re like ‘hey man’ ‘thank you’.”

Smoking rates amongst youth dropping at faster rate thanks to vaping

In line with Zamora’s arguments, another recent study has indicated that thanks to vaping, smoking rates amongst teens are dropping 3 times faster. The study titled Examining the relationship of vaping to smoking initiation among US youth and young adults: a reality check, was published in the journal Tobacco Control last month.

The researchers explained that different data sets for both youth and young adults, indicated an inverse relationship between vaping and smoking. Hence, they concluded, while trying vapes may causally increase smoking amongst some youth, “the aggregate effect at the population level appears to be negligible”, as smoking rates have dropped significantly during the same time period when vaping was rising in popularity.

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