Youth Vaping Rates Have Plunged During Lockdown: Study
By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News)
Vaping amongst teenagers and younger adults has decreased dramatically through the COVID-19 pandemic, with two-thirds of e-cigarette customers reporting that they’ve both reduce or stop, a brand new examine says.
About 32% of e-cigarette customers mentioned they stop this yr and one other 35% reported slicing again, based on survey outcomes revealed Dec. 3 in JAMA Network Online.
Concerns about lung well being had been a significant component of their choice, the outcomes point out. One in 4 respondents who reduce or stop mentioned they had been motivated by concern that vaping might weaken their lungs.
Research has proven that people who smoke have the next threat of extreme COVID-19 an infection, famous senior researcher Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a developmental psychologist and professor of pediatrics at Stanford University in California.
Vapers’ worries had been in all probability additionally motivated by the 2019 nationwide outbreak of EVALI, which concerned hundreds of lung accidents associated to e-cigarette use, she added.
“One of the main reasons they quit is that they were worried about lung health, and we think that’s important, that they thought they could hurt their lungs,” Halpern-Felsher mentioned. “This really provides an opportunity to talk about and provide education about lung health.”
These outcomes confirmed that well being considerations are a reputable strategy to fight e-cigarette use amongst teenagers and younger adults, mentioned Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, director of the Johns Hopkins Tobacco Treatment Clinic in Baltimore.
“If you put things in your lungs that isn’t air, you’re more likely to suffer severe COVID-19 outcomes,” mentioned Galiatsatos, who wasn’t a part of the examine. “If we can emphasize that vaping is not healthy and make it appear unattractive, we will win over this generation of e-cigarette users. We’ll get them to stop.”
The survey additionally discovered that:
- Heavy vapers who had been extra hooked on nicotine had been the least prone to stop or reduce.
- Kids in lockdown weren’t strongly motivated to stop by fears of their dad and mom discovering out about their vaping.
- E-cigarette customers who continued their behavior confirmed nice resourcefulness in acquiring vaping merchandise throughout lockdown, partly by switching to on-line retailers.
“They were basically getting them wherever they could is the bottom line, but overall sales were more likely to be through online than brick and mortar,” Halpern-Felsher mentioned.
The findings come from a nationwide on-line survey carried out in early May with greater than 4,300 individuals between 13 and 24 years previous. Of these, almost 2,200 mentioned they’d used e-cigarettes.
Vapers had been 68% much less prone to stop in the event that they’d used an e-cigarette 100 or extra instances, and 51% much less prone to stop in the event that they had been nicotine-dependent, based on survey outcomes.
Kids who had been adhering to stay-at-home mandates had been 50% extra prone to stop or scale back their vaping, researchers discovered.
However, solely about 15% of those that did so mentioned they stopped as a result of they had been apprehensive about their dad and mom discovering out that they vape, the survey confirmed.
Newer e-cigarettes are small and simpler to hide, Halpern-Felsher famous. For instance, Juul units resemble a USB flash drive.
“We’re talking about with Juul, with Puff Bar, really small devices that are very easy to hide,” she mentioned. “One of the reasons teens use the newer e-cigarettes is they can hide them because they’re small and they smell good instead of smelling bad.”
Halpern-Felsher mentioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ought to have a look at the scale and elegance of those units and make them tougher for teenagers to hide.
Experts are involved that vaping will regain its recognition as soon as the pandemic has handed.
E-cigarette use amongst kids tends to be extremely social, and will increase as soon as youngsters are once more free to congregate, Halpern-Felsher mentioned.
“The concern is that as soon as youth are not having sheltering in place and they’re all back in school, whether we’re going to see more social use again and the uptick will happen,” she mentioned.
“The electronic cigarette social media community is strong. They can push back with their own slogans, but it’s hard for them to push against” pandemic-motivated worries over lung well being, he mentioned.
If the well being issue is eliminated with none strict regulation or push to make the merchandise unattractive, numbers would possibly surge, Galiatsatos mentioned.
Northwestern University School of Medicine has extra about vaping and COVID-19.
SOURCES: Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, developmental psychologist and professor, pediatrics, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.; Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, MHS, director, Johns Hopkins Tobacco Treatment Clinic and assistant professor, drugs, Baltimore; JAMA Network Online, Dec. 3, 2020
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