A recent study has revealed a significant shift in tobacco use among young adults, with more individuals initiating a nicotine habit via vaping than through traditional cigarettes.
A recent study led by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) revealed a significant shift in tobacco use among young adults, with more individuals initiating a nicotine habit via vaping than through smoking traditional cigarettes.

The study analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, demonstrating a surge in regular e-cigarette use among young adults, surpassing those who start with combustible cigarettes. While the lowest level of young adults reporting smoking is encouraging, researchers cautioned against the rising trend of non-smokers starting with vaping.

In line with the general status quo surrounding vaping, the study highlighted specific concerns with regards to flavoured and disposable vapes targeted at the 18 to 24 age group. Meanwhile, other studies have looked into patterns of vape use and cessation among teens and young adults.

Titled, “Adoption of Vaping Cessation Methods by US Adolescent E-Cigarette Users,” a recent study analysed data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) across twelve months to determine patterns and factors associated with vaping behaviors and vaping cessation methods among US teenagers.

From the 1436 current vapers who participated in the NYTS 2021, 889 (67.9%) had made a past-year quit attempt. From these, 575 (63.7%) reported opting for an unassisted quitting attempt, 14.2% resorted to peer support, while another 6.4% looked for help online. Finally 5,9% resorted to a mobile app or text messaging and 5.8% turned to their parents for help.

Female (versus male) vapers were less likely to look for parental support, while Hispanic (versus White) vapers were more likely to seek friend support and parental support. Individuals who viewed vaping as harmful were less inclined to ask friends for help, but demonstrated a higher propensity to engage with mobile applications or text messaging cessation programs.

Dual users of vapes and other tobacco products were more likely to seek assistance from teachers or coaches, healthcare providers, and medical facilities compared to individuals using only vapes.

Young vapers tried to quit an average of 5.3 times in the past year

Another study looking into factors associated with youth vaping cessation, reported that on average, users attempted to quit 5.3 times in the past year. Looking at data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, the study “Prevalence and Factors Associated With Youth Vaping Cessation Intention and Quit Attempts,” analysed data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) from 1660 participants aged between 11 and 18 years.

The study found that 67.4% of the study subjects reported having tried to quit vaping. In 2020, over half (53.4%) of current e-cigarette users aimed to quit vaping, with two-thirds (67.4%) having attempted to quit. Females, users of modifiable systems, and dual or poly users had lower intentions to quit. Reasons for vaping influenced cessation behavior; curiosity-driven users had higher quit attempt odds.

It’s official: US teen vaping rates are on the decline

Meanwhile, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated a decline in vaping rates among middle and high school students, dropping from 14% to 10% over the past year. A similar trend has been observed in several individual States, potentially indicating successful quit attempts amongst other factors. In Utah, the State Department of Health and Human Services has recently reported a decrease in youth vaping rates from 12% in 2019 to 7% presently.

The findings were based on an anonymous study that surveyed students on vaping-related topics. Dr. Dixie Harris, a pulmonary critical care and sleep physician at Intermountain Health, said that lower youth usage may reduce addiction risk and potential conversion to cigarettes as teens age.

While vaping’s long-term health effects are not as extensively studied as cigarettes, Dr. Harris emphasized concerns about introducing foreign materials into the lungs, drawing a parallel to the risks associated with pollution and air quality. Garden Ainsworth, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Manager, attributed the decline in vaping rates in Utah to legislative measures restricting youth access, as well as  to effective anti-vaping marketing efforts set in 2020.

New York is The Latest US State to Report a Drop in Teen Vaping

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