The tobacco (and vaping) epidemic is over: young people smoke less than their parents

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This is confirmed by data from America. And which should be celebrated as a major victory for public health in the country

Vaping by teens and young adults is a legitimate concern, but fear of the risks associated with using these tools has been greatly exacerbated. We know that the use of smokeless products has increased in the student population over the past decade, but since 2019 there has been a drastic drop in the number of teenage vapers in the United States, and rates of smoking have steadily declined over the same period. .to new records.

The teacher. Riccardo Polosa, founder of CoEHAR at the University of Catania, with prof. Thomas B. Casale of the University of Florida and Donald P. Tashkin of UCLA Health Sciences in Los Angeles, recently published in “The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice” a research titled “A close look at vaping in adolescents and young adults in the United States”, devoted exclusively to the vaping habits of adolescents in the United States. The objective of the article was to draw up an inventory of the use of vaping products among adolescents and young adults. in the United States and to assess their impact in terms of respiratory health and the data on their use.

Smoking at historic lows, e-cigarettes also down

Over the past decade, rates of e-cigarette use among high school students have increased significantly, but after the 2019 peak, they began to decline significantly. On the other hand, over the same period, smoking rates have steadily declined to historic lows. These trends, combined with data from the most recent analyses, do not seem to justify the theory of the so-called gateway effect, that is to say that vaping represents a gateway to the world of smoking. The vast majority of ecig users report infrequent use and their use is unlikely to increase an individual’s risk of adverse health effects. In addition, vapers have very often smoked before and are rarely people who have never smoked.

A similar increase in vaping habits has been reported among 18-24 year olds over the past decade, but to a lesser extent than among high school students. At the same time, smoking rates have dropped significantly, but still remain higher than data for high school students. As with the latter, there is no data indicating that the use of electronic cigarettes can pave the way for the consumption of conventional cigarettes. Conversely, the data shows that a very high percentage of youth who vape have actually smoked before.

Interestingly, the percentage of dual users has declined in recent years: Federal polls report drastic drops in dual-use rates (NHIS 2019 23%; NYTS 2021 12.5%). This is probably due to several factors: with technological advances, and the consequent improvement of systems and sensory experience, it is possible that an increasing number of vapers are content to vape alone, finding it a satisfactory alternative to cigarette. Dual use should be seen as part of a behavioral journey that evolves over time, not something static and set in stone. A person can start vaping without quitting smoking in mind, but as the user becomes familiar with it and finds their favorite product, they will start using the tool more and more. frequently in different contexts and situations.

“The vaping epidemic is over”

“It’s good news that the habit of vaping among high school students is rapidly declining, so much so that the ‘vaping epidemic’ among teenagers is now considered over,” said Professor Polosa “And other better news is the one reporting the drastic drop in smoking rates among high school students, with smoking rates reaching historic lows. The eradication of tobacco smoke is upon us!…but we must remain vigilant that youth vaping levels remain low. In the meantime, authorities must enforce existing regulations on illegal sales to minors to limit access to tobacco and nicotine products.”

“Frequent or daily use of e-cigarettes among adolescents is not very widespread: the majority of young users of e-products releasing nicotine declare that they only use e-cigarettes once or twice a month. These data show that the daily use of cigarettes is not very common. We need strong prevention campaigns aimed at students who inform them of the potential risks,” added Prof. Thomas B. Casale.

An alarming fact is that there is an exponential increase in the number of young vapers vaping marijuana with relatively high frequency. And we know that marijuana use during adolescence is associated with declining memory, attention, and learning.

“Teenagers and young adults aren’t supposed to vape, smoke, drink heavily, or use drugs, but some will still do it no matter what adults tell them to do. There is currently real concern about marijuana use in this vulnerable age group, but only limited data is available regarding the adverse health effects of these products,” said Prof. Donald P. Tashkin.

“We don’t know if ecig use in young people can have negative health effects in adulthood and high-quality long-term studies are needed – concluded Polosa – although vaping has been linked to respiratory symptoms, these have proven to be transient and often uncertain.Compared to conventional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes emit far fewer toxic and carcinogenic substances and the reduction in harm compared to conventional cigarettes is now certain”.

Source: Today

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