The results of the survey are used to provide insights into healthy and unhealthy trends amongst young people, and this information is normally used by school and health officials as well as parents and policymakers to focus resources and interventions.
The percentage of youths who smoke traditional cigarettes is at an all-time low.
The 2018 results which were released earlier this month and included the responses of 12,000 students, indicated that the percentage of youths who smoke traditional cigarettes is at an all-time low. Moreover, students also reported drinking less alcohol than in previous years.
On the other hand, nearly half of 12th grade students who participated in the survey said that they’ve tried an e-cigarette at some point, and about 30 percent said they vape regularly. And while certain health officials and lawmakers remain concerned about this rise, other health experts correlate the decrease in smoking and use of other substances, to this increase in vaping.
Nationwide survey shows similar patterns
In fact, the government-sponsored survey, the Monitoring the Future Study, which also detected a big increase in vaping last year, also shows a continuing decline in past-month smoking among 12th-graders and and 10th-graders.
In line with what many public health experts keep pointing out, a recent article on Reason, explained that if more people are vaping and as a result less people are smoking, given the relative safety of the devices, this is a victory for public health. “From a public health perspective, a situation in which 20 percent of high school students are vaping while 8 percent are smoking is vastly preferable to a situation in which 0 percent are vaping and 29 percent are smoking (as the NYTS found in 1999).”