Nowdays, young people spend less time on drinking, smoking and trying hard drugs, according to a recent US federal survey data. However, they cultivate a new bad habit, vaping of marijuana and nicotine, which has a great impact on their health and cause public concerns.
The Results of Teen Vaping from Recent Survey: A Worrisome Trend
This phenomenon, published Wednesday, is among the findings in the Monitoring the Future survey — a closely watched annual study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), of eighth, 10th and 12th graders. The survey warns that the drug use and experimentation in young generation are going through great change.
In this year’s report, what makes public health experts troubled is the skyrocket use of marijuana vaping. 14 percent of 12th graders surveyed, believed that they vaped marijuana in the last month, which doubles the 7.5 percent reported a year ago. The percentage of teenagers who said they had vaped marijuana once or more over the last year, twice more than the past two years, sharply increasing to 7 percent for eighth graders, 19.4 percent for 10th graders and 20.8 percent for 12th graders.
The survey shows that 3.5 percent of 12th graders and 3 percent of 10th graders report vape daily, the first year the researchers had asked that question.
The data also echoed statistics that the government released in September about electronic cigarettes, with a quarter of high school seniors reporting that they had vaped nicotine within the last month, along with one in four 10th graders.
“This is a very, very worrisome trend,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, said of the rise in both types of vaping among teenagers.
Teen Vaping Raises Public Concerns
In fact, it’s vaping of marijuana that causes public health crisis, especially lung-disease outbreak that spread out this summer. More than 2,000 people in the US, many of whom are in their teens and under 20 year-old, became sick and felt hard to breathe. Most of the patients said they had vaped Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC), the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana.
As of December 17, 2019, there have been 2,506 cases of hospitalization associated with vaping lung illness nationwide and 54 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states, many of whom died were middle-aged or older, though one aged 17, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
Health officials have said the cause is not entirely clear but appears to stem from the way the lungs struggle to process certain oils used in illegal marijuana vaping products from the black market. They also have identified vitamin E acetate, an ingredient contained cannabis oil in some products , is responsible for all or most of the injuries.
Encouraging Trends: The Overall Use of Drugs is Dropping
Although vaping of marijuana is climbing, the overall rates of using the drug in all forms including smoking, vaping, edibles, etc., were mixed. The Monitoring the Future survey this year finds, high school students reported have been reducing the use of many substances, such as tobacco and alcohol and seems to be a long-term trend, which make public health experts a little relieved.
The portion of seniors who reported smoking in the last month fell to 5.7 percent, cut down from 13.6 percent five years ago. Alcohol use continued to decline, too. Around 73.2 percent of 12th graders said they had used alcohol in the last year as did 65.3 percent of 10th graders.
Public health experts said that those declines, along with drops in the use of prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, are ow to a multifaceted effort in the United States to discourage drug use, including stricter school penalties, smoking bans, parental supervision and general public awareness campaigns.
“There has been a whole lot of effort from all segments of the society. We should be positive and face these challenges together to protect our young generation. There are some encouraging trends.”said Dr. Sion Kim Harris, a pediatrician and director for the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Boston Children’s Hospital.
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