TL neuro

July 18, 2015

Prevalence of E-cigarette use in 8th-12th graders

Filed under: E-cigarettes, Tobacco/Nicotine, Vape inhalation — mtaffe @ 5:47 pm

The Monitoring the Future survey added electronic cigarettes to its survey for the first time in 2014. The summary tables and figures and full monographs are available for the clicking.

Results show show that 17.1% of high school seniors reported using an E-cigarette at least once in the past 30 days. Rates were almost as high for 10th grade students (16.2%) and somewhat lower for 8th graders (8.7%).

To put this in perspective the 30 day prevalence for cigarettes was 13.6% for 12th graders, 7.2% for 10th and 4.0% for 8th graders. So twice as many 8th and 10th grade students have at least tried an E-cigarette as have tried a regular cigarette.

6.8% of 12th grade students report smoking one or more cigarettes per day. The rate for 10th graders is only 3.3% and 1.4% for 8th graders. One way to put together the E-cigarette/cigarette ratios from the three grade ranges is to observe that daily smoking is more likely with older students. These individuals may either have less need to resort to E-cigarettes for availability reasons or they may reflect the fact that E-cigarettes may not produce good nicotine levels until smokers are motivated to learn to use them.

For those that are unfamiliar with drug use rates in these grade levels, E-cigarette use is high. The percentage of respondents who used any illicit drug other than marijuana in the past 30 days was 7.7%, 5.6% and 3.3% for 12th, 10th and 8th graders respectively. Marijuana rates were 21.2%, 16.6% and 6.5%. The 30 day rates for 12th graders for individual drugs of interest are much lower: 1.0% cocaine or LSD, 1.4% Ecstasy, 0.4% heroin or PCP, 6.4% for any prescription drug.

Since this was only added to the MtF survey recently, we cannot make much from a single point estimate of E-cigarette use. Maybe this was the peak of a new fad, maybe the beginning of a sustained trend.

What we do know is that substantial numbers of adolescents are sampling the use of these devices.

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