Most kids who vape are not using nicotine. It’s not news to everyone, but the FDA, CDC and organizations like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids ought to take notice. And then maybe shut up about e-cigarettes being a plot to entice children into a lifetime of addiction.
According to a study based on data from a respected national health survey, only about 20 percent of 10th and 12th grade kids who vaped used nicotine, and just 13 percent of the 8th graders. The authors say that the results “suggest that the recent rise in adolescent vaporiser use does not necessarily indicate a nicotine epidemic.”
The study is using data from the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey (MTF), an annual survey of drug use by teens conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The authors of this study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, are all investigators on the MTF survey.
The authors — Richard Miech, PhD., Megan E Patrick, PhD., Patrick M O’Malley, PhD., and Lloyd D Johnston, PhD. — are all from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, which conducts the annual survey.
“The majority of US youth who use vaporisers and e-cigarettes do not vape nicotine,” they write. “This finding challenges many common assumptions and practices, and points to the need for vaporiser-specific research to assess and ultimately regulate the public health threat of vaporisers. Taking into account this finding now, while the field is young, will help ensure that future vaporiser science and regulations are built on a solid footing.”
The FDA has presented the deeming regulations largely as a response to the “epidemic” of teenage nicotine use. While the data presented isn’t new, it can only be helpful to vaping to see it presented by respected researchers in a tobacco control journal.