Vaping rate doubles for teens, increases in young adults


The rate of teens who vape doubled in the last couple of years, and now the 18 to 24-year-old age group is increasing their vape habits after years of declining.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFTA) — A new study shows a spike in e-cigarette use in young adults after a three year decline.

The rate of teens who vape doubled in the last couple years, and now we’re seeing the next age group, 18 to 24 year olds, increasing their vape habits.

This begs the question of, “why is vaping so popular,” and “if it could spread to the older generations?”

New research from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows teen vaping continues to skyrocket; with almost 30 percent of high schoolers currently using e-cigs.

“The solution they use is frequently flavored, like cotton candy or fruit punch, things that don’t make teenagers think, ‘oh, there’s nicotine in this,'” said Dr. Laurie Anderson, a pediatrician at Children’s Clinic in Springdale.

Dr. Anderson said 60 percent of teenagers don’t even know vaping solution can contain addictive ingredients like nicotine.

She said, “This can be a gateway for teenagers to start smoking cigarettes even if they have never before.”

Vapor Maven Manager Donny Scott said he doesn’t want teens vaping either.

He said he’ll stop underage teens at the door if they try to buy from his shop.”If you don’t already have that addiction, you know, it’s not good to start up,” Scott said. “While vaping is a safer alternative, it’s still nicotine. That’s not something the younger generation needs.”

Now, the vaping trend has seeped into the next generation.

Vaping among 18 to 24 year olds had dropped over the past three years, until a recent spike.

Scott said for the older generation, he thinks it’s not the feeling of fitting in that’s driving them to vape, it’s the health benefits.

“I get a lot of people actually, older people in this shop, probably 36 to 60, who are getting off cigarettes, moving to salt nic to help cut back on the amount that they’re smoking and eventually moving into zeros and not consuming nicotine at all,” he said.

While the 36 to 60 age range, Scott mentioned it isn’t showing an increase at the moment, Dr. Anderson said it’s likely they will in the future.

Dr. Anderson said, “Right now about 80 percent of the people who vape are under [the age of] 35, so I definitely think the numbers are continuing to increase.”

While there is pending legislation to try to end the vaping trend, Scott said it’s not likely people will stop anytime soon.

“People are going to get it whether it’s from an established business that does it right or their homeboy down the street who’s making it in his kitchen,” he said. “It’s not going to go anywhere.”

Both Scott and Anderson said the reason behind the growing vaping trend could also come from its ability to be discreet, both in packaging and smell.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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