From the Journals

Growing vaping habit may lead to nicotine addiction in adolescents



Adolescents’ past 30-day use of e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2017 to 2019, and in 2019 almost 12% of high school seniors reported that they were vaping every day, according to data from the Monitoring the Future surveys.

Prevalence of vaping among adolescents in the past 30 days

Daily use – defined as vaping on 20 or more of the previous 30 days – was reported by 6.9% of 10th-grade and 1.9% of 8th-grade respondents in the 2019 survey, which was the first time use in these age groups was assessed. “The substantial levels of daily vaping suggest the development of nicotine addiction,” Richard Miech, PhD, and associates said Sept. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

From 2017 to 2019, e-cigarette use over the previous 30 days increased from 11.0% to 25.4% among 12th graders, from 8.2% to 20.2% in 10th graders, and from 3.5% to 9.0% of 8th graders, suggesting that “current efforts by the vaping industry, government agencies, and schools have thus far proved insufficient to stop the rapid spread of nicotine vaping among adolescents,” the investigators wrote.

By 2019, over 40% of 12th-grade students reported ever using e-cigarettes, along with more than 36% of 10th graders and almost 21% of 8th graders. Corresponding figures for past 12-month use were 35.1%, 31.1%, and 16.1%, they reported.

“New efforts are needed to protect youth from using nicotine during adolescence, when the developing brain is particularly susceptible to permanent changes from nicotine use and when almost all nicotine addiction is established,” the investigators wrote.

The analysis was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Dr. Miech.

SOURCE: Miech R et al. N Engl J Med. 2019 Sep 18. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1910739.

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