Researchers have found that the number of kids vaping nicotine in the US has doubled in the past two years.
Data from 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey that included children in Classes 8, 10 and 12, shows alarmingly high rates of e-cigarette use compared to just a year ago, with rates doubling in the past two years, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Parents with school-aged children should begin paying close attention to these devices, which can look like simple flash drives, and frequently come in flavours that are appealing to youth,” said study lead researcher Richard Miech from the University of Michigan in the US.
“National leaders can assist parents by stepping up and implementing policies and programs to prevent the use of these products by teens,” Miech said.
The new data shows a significant increase in vaping of nicotine in the past month in each of the three grade levels since 2018.
In 2019, the prevalence of past month nicotine vaping was more than one in four students in Class 12, one in five in Class 10 and one in 11 in Class 8.
“With 25 percent of 12th graders, 20 percent of 10th graders and nine percent of 8th graders now vaping nicotine within the past month, the use of these devices has become a public health crisis,” said Nora D. Volkow from National Institute on Drug Abuse in the US.
“These products introduce the highly addictive chemical nicotine to these young people and their developing brains, and I fear we are only beginning to learn the possible health risks and outcomes for youth,” Volkow added.