Before we get into this, ECCR has been advocating for vaping and for quality vapor products for many years. Most e-cig sites tend to come and go but we have been around the longest because we keep it real. We are passionate about vaping, we believe in the potential and frankly most of us who contribute to ECCR have lived the potential. In our view, the ideal is that vapor products are meant to be enjoyed by adult tobacco consumers. The last thing we want to see is teens or non-tobacco users taking up vaping.
Because we do not want to see electronic cigarettes being used by kids and teens, we welcomed the news that teen e-cig use is on the decline with teens and adolescents. We hope that a decline in teen e-cig use does not result in an increase in smoking and we will have to wait and see the numbers on that. With vaping growing robustly, smoking have fallen to historical lows across the board. A Yale e-cigarette study last year established that in places where e-cigarette bans are put into effect, teen smoking actually increases. We certainly hope that is not what is happening here.
As for why teen vaping rates are declining, the researchers do not know. So far there has been a lot of speculation from a lot of corners but the jury is out. It could be the cool factor as the researchers believe, the negative media or it could be the ramping up of self-policing that the vapor industry has been doing. The efforts that have been going on here at ECCR and with others in the industry to discourage teens from vaping may be paying off. There are a lot of good people in this industry and most are working hard to do the right things despite what our loudest, most oblivious critics say.
Monitoring The Future E-cigarette Survey
The Monitoring the Future e-cigarette survey was carried out by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A total of 45,3873 students filled out surveys at school so this was actually a very large sample size. A big survey. The survey respondents included 17.643 eighth graders, 15,230 tenth graders and 12,600 twelfth graders selected from 372 schools all across the US.
The number of twelfth graders that reported vaping an e-cig in the last 30 days dropped from 16.3 % in 2015 to 12.5% in 2016. A 3.8 % decrease. The drop year over year among tenth graders was 14% down to 11%. The number of eighth graders that had tried an e-cigarette in the previous 30 days declined from 8 % in 2015 to 6.2 % in 2016.
The researchers also noted that high schoolers also showed a year over year slight increase in believing that e-cigs are harmful. That may be another part of why e-cig use has declined but does not account for the percentage drops we are seeing. Hence the variety of theories on the why.
In any case, it should remain the goal of all responsible adults and businesses to work toward keeping all tobacco products out of the hands of our kids. Let’s let this serve us as a reminder to be thoughtful about vaping around our children.