Teen smoking rates reach historic lows, despite vaping’s popularity

There’s been a lot of research on the relationship between smoking, vaping and teenagers over the last year or so. Some people suggest that vaping leads to smoking in young people, however all the research that has been published, disproves this theory thus far.

The latest survey data shows that cigarette use by teenagers is at an all-time historic low, even with vaping rising in popularity. The biggest fear was that vaping would make “smoking cool again”. The dramatic decline is a huge accomplishment. The percentage of high school seniors reportedly smoking has fallen from 36.5% to a low 9.7% this year according to the Monitoring the Future Study. That’s a massive 73% drop. In grade 10 students it dropped from 30.4% in 1996 to 5% (84% drop) this year, and 21% to 1.9% in those in grade 8 (91% drop) during the same period! The study saw a consistent decline in smoking even as adolescent experimentation with e-cigarettes became more common place. Yet again proving that vaping is not a gateway to smoking in young people.

There are two main reasons for this.

  1. Most teenagers who vape don’t get addicted to nicotine and go on to consume cigarette because they vape non-nicotine e-liquids. Over half of the teenagers surveyed who vape reported that their e-liquids only contained flavouring and nothing else. Those who cited vaping nicotine e-liquids do it so seldom that it’s not enough to develop a habit. The Monitoring the Future study also found that less than 1% of middle school students and less than 3% of high school students reported vaping on 20+ days of vaping in the previous month.
  2. The other reason is that the teenagers that who would otherwise be smoking are vaping instead, thus driving smoking statistics down even more. Because vaping is a much healthier choice than smoking, it should be seen as a big accomplishment.

.You can read the full study here.