Just like with alcohol, cigarettes, and even illegal drugs — youth from every generation from as far back as humanity can recount have always had a tendency of trying what isn’t good for them and not listening to adults. That’s nothing new. What we have always known is that youth often lose interest in the thrill of these actions pretty quickly and most do not stick with whatever new thing they try.
When it comes to vaping, the uninformed and anti-vapers used teen use as an excuse to try and tax vaping into the ground and to call it a public health risk — which it is not. Rather than seeing vaping for what it is: a harm reduction tool to help people stop smoking and improve their health, and a much safer alternative to smoking — opponents use the age-old excuse of “it’s dangerous to teens.”
Whelp, you can’t stop kids from doing what they want to do, so there is no use in punishing adults who are trying to quit smoking and avoid disease. The numbers of youth trying vaping wasn’t that high anyways and as with everything else, we know those number would soon drop — the novelty of vaping never endures in teen circles — nor does smoking. This is because vaping was just another new thing to try and those novelties are always short-lived.
And it has happened –youth smoking has decreased significantly (which, of course, anti-vapers and the misinformed are calling a “health win” as if their rhetoric against vaping helped), which is great for real, adult vapers who vape for a reason — to become healthier or avoid disease.
The fears that e-cigarettes would cause a teen health crisis were misplaced and unfounded in the first place, and the recent numbers showing the lack of interest in vaping by teens was already called by those in the vaping industry long ago.
According to data from Federal sources, teen vaping and smoking rates in general, are declining. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a survey that showed a rapid increase in youth vaping between 2011 and 2015, as vaping became “cool” and the hottest new thing. According to the data, teens are now giving up the novelty en masse.
The number of middle and high school students who use vaping devices (according to the CDC survey) dropped from 3 million to 2.2 million in the 2016 year.
These findings are in line with the “Monitoring the Future” survey that is completed by the University of Michigan every year. This survey, too, showed a drop in vaping by youth in 2016 — down to 13 of high school students. Overall, the number of teens that used any tobacco products (including cigarettes) also declined from 4.7 million to 3.9 million in 2016.
Teens will always experiment and try different things — but having the pot calling the kettle black by demonizing vaping (which is up to 95 percent safer than cigarettes) and making them out to be as bad as tobacco cigarettes does nothing but promote unnecessary and inaccurate information about a real harm reduction tool that saves lives.
It is now that the numbers finally show what we have known all along — that kids experimented with the new vaping technology, tried them, and then the novelty wore off as it always does. They don’t find them satisfying and are on to buying their next XBox game — so the anti-vaping naysayers can look at the trends and hopefully focus on the good that vaping is doing for adults as a harm reduction option and a much safer alternative to smoking tobacco.