For parents concerned about the prevalence of vaping, or the consumption of e-cigarettes by children, their concerns were just validated by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California.
The recently released study indicates that teens who vape or use hookah are more likely to use marijuana later in life. How prevalent is vaping among Washington State teens? What options are there for those who slip into substance use disorder in college or later in life?
Teen Vaping and Long-Term Substance Use
Teen vaping is becoming a real issue in the U.S. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that today, teenagers are more likely to abuse e-cigarettes than tobacco products. CBS News reports that 36 percent of U.S. 12th graders reported trying some form of e-cigarettes in 2017.
In August, a new article from the journal Pediatrics suggested that teens using e-cigarettes and hookah were four times more likely to smoke pot later on. Researchers from two major universities studied 2,668 students across 10 public high schools in L.A.
The study initially surveyed 14-year olds in the ninth grade, asking if they had used e-cigarettes, a hookah water pipe, or marijuana in the last 30 days. A follow-up study was conducted when the same students were 16-years old in the 11th grade. The follow-up question was whether they had used three types of marijuana in the last 30 days.
The study showed that the students who tried e-cigarettes as freshmen were three times as likely to use marijuana than students that had never tried an e-cigarette. Researchers pointed out that e-cigarette use is rising as traditional tobacco use is declining. Not only is the correlation between marijuana consumption troubling, but studies are also showing that e-cigarettes have a detrimental effect on human health.
Teen Vaping – Negative Health Effects
CBS News recently reported on a study by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University that found e-cigarettes and teen vaping can release toxic metals into the lungs of the person consuming the product. In the study, researchers found unsafe amounts of chromium, lead, manganese, and nickel, all toxic heavy metals that cause adverse health effects. Another study cited in the same article suggested that the nicotine from e-cigarettes cause cancer in mice and may contribute to bladder and lung cancer as well as heart problems in humans.
Teen Vaping in Washington State
The Snohomish Health District has a whole page devoted to e-cigarettes in Washington State. They point out that e-cigarette usage is increasing around the nation and in the state. The Truth Initiative tracks e-cigarette use in Washington State as well as around the nation. Their statistics show a widespread problem with 6 percent of eighth graders, 3 percent of 10th graders and 6 percent of 12th graders currently using e-cigarettes. This is despite the fact that Washington State has a law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to those under the age of 18 years old.