Alcohol and Drug Use is Down Among Teens, But E-Cigarettes Are on The Rise

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that the use of cigarettes, alcohol and painkillers by teens and young adults have all seen a steady decline in 2014. Even better is that the so called gateway drug, marijuana, has leveled off for the first time in the past few years. These statistics are most welcome and show that the various forms of information and drug education being provided to teens is having a very positive effect. However, the annual survey conducted by NIDA is showing that there is a new culprit that needs attention. It’s the now 3 billion dollar industry that has taken the world by storm: E-Cigarettes. Some believe that this new form of smoking may be raking in ridiculous profits from teens who view it as a tasty and less dangerous alternative to smoking real cigarettes. Obviously the verdict isn’t in yet when it comes to definitive science regarding E-Cigarettes, but that may be one of the reasons why health experts want to see more teens avoid using them until they’ve been deemed safe or dangerous.

“It is now more important than ever for the public health community to continue to educate teens, parents, teachers, community leaders, the media and health care providers about the specific harms of drug use among teens, whose brains are still developing.”
E-cigarette usage, such as those at Cloudcig, was added to the survey for the first time in 2014 and found that 8.7 percent of eighth graders (13 to 14-year olds), 16.2 percent of tenth graders (15 to 16-year old) and 17.1 percent of twelfth graders (17 to 18-year olds) had reported using an e-cigarette in the past month.

With all the progress being made in drug education that seems to be having a lasting effect on teens may be at risk, some say, because of the availability and attraction to E-Cigarettes. For those of you who don’t know, an e-cigarette is a device that heats up flavored liquid that can be inhaled and it gives the user a similar feeling to a real cigarette. Many people believe that it is a safer alternative to smoking tobacco products, as there is in fact no smoke at all when vaping (the term for smoking an e-cigarette). Why teens are turning to these devices is obvious for a number of reasons. Many vape shops will sell to kids, so will online dealers. Teens no longer have to worry about being busted for smoking as their clothes won’t smell of second hand smoke, and because there are so many flavors available to try, it is kind of like being a fancy wine taster who truly enjoys all the experimenting. It should be noted that e-cigarette juices do contain a substantial amount of nicotine, in some cases the e-liquid that the battery powered cigarette heats up can actually contain more nicotine than a real cigarette. This is why people are worried, especially because smoking an e-cigarette may actually lead some teens to begin smoking real tobacco.

Some immediate regulations should be implemented to prevent teens from using these devices. They may be less harmful than real cigarettes, they may not, but until more conclusive science is presented the wise decision would be to prevent teens from using them for as long as possible in order to protect their health and developing brains.



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Sobriety Foundation

Alcohol and Drug Use is Down Among Teens, But E-Cigarettes Are on The Rise

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