2020 data reported no statistical increase in teen vaping rates since 2017.
The 2020 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey has indicated that 70% of high school and middle school vapers, are showing signs of nicotine dependence. The survey is conducted regularly by the Minnesota Department of Health, to provide information about young people’s commercial tobacco use and design and evaluate prevention efforts.

According to the 2020 data, 19% of high school and 3% of middle school students were current vapers, and 34% of high school and 8% of middle school students reported ever using an e-cigarette. This was not a statistically significant increase from 2017.

The survey also indicated that four in five Minnesota students reported that the first tobacco product they ever tried was flavoured. Overall tobacco use declined to 20.5% of high school and 4.1% of middle school students having used a tobacco product in the past 30 days, compared to 26.4% and 5.2% in 2017.

A partnership with a GP on TikTok

To this effect, the state’s Department of Health has joined forces with popular TikToker and family physician Dr. Rose Marie Leslie. The doctor has almost 1 million followers on the platform and shares health-related information and resources, amongst which info on how young people can quit vaping.

“I have been creating content with the Minnesota Department of Health to help promote health behavior change regarding vaping and share impactful resources like My Life, My Quit. I am proud to partner with them. They are such a committed organization and I truly stand behind their efforts,” said Leslie as quoted by Newsweek.

“I have a history of communicating with my followers about vaping prevention and cessation, so it’s a natural partnership. Right now I am solely partnering with MDH for the TikTok campaign, and we’ll see what future efforts may look like.”

Tobacco 21

Last year, Minnesota’s legislators raise the state’s tobacco age limit to 21. The law was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz in May, making Minnesota consistent with federal laws. Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, who had long been advocating for the age limit increase, said that the main goal of the new legislation is to prevent teen vaping and subsequent nicotine addiction.

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