Latest survey figures fill in some of the gaps on US teen vaping

Fresh data on teen vaping in the US broadly supports the numbers on which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has based recent policy, but also casts doubt on some of the details.

The latest instalment of the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey concurs with the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) that vaping of nicotine by older teens has roughly doubled in a year. But it implies that the actual level may still be somewhat lower than the NYTS had suggested.

Where the NYTS reported that use of e-cigarettes in the last 30 days had increased from 11.7% to 20.8% of high-schoolers between 2017 and 2018, MTF specifies that vaping nicotine grew from 7.5% to 14.2%.

Significantly, the MTF data also suggests that a substantial part of that growth may be in vaping marijuana rather than nicotine. Overall marijuana vaping rates grew from 3.6% in 2017 to 5.7% in 2018, again with twelfth- and tenth-graders more than twice as likely as eighth-graders to use an e-cigarette this way.

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