Electronic cigarettes and vaping have been getting their fair share of negative press as recently. Proponents against the use of ecigarettes regularly claim that they are a gateway to smoking for teens. What they often fail to mention is that when you compare vaping to other things, such as drinking and drug use, vaping is not as big of an issue.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) released its 2015 survey about drug and alcohol use by high-school students in Ontario. The study found that 12 percent of students reported using ecigarettes in the past year.
“Survey results also showed that in 2015 more students used electronic cigarettes than tobacco cigarettes. Nine percent of students in grades seven to 12 said they smoked regular cigarettes during the past year, while 12 percent, an estimated 107,800 individuals, said they had more than a few puffs of an electronic cigarette, with or without nicotine,” says CAMH.
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly sound like an epidemic to us.
CAMH Study Findings
The study also found that:
- 9% of students reported smoking regular cigarettes in the past year
- 10% reported non-medical use of prescription opioids than smoked cigarettes
- 5% reported using ecstasy
- 20% reported using marijuana in the last year
- 46% of students reported drinking alcohol, with 19% reporting getting blackout drunk at least once
Overall, 42% of high-school students reported using no drugs at all. The one exception is the use of energy drinks. The long term trend for using alcohol, marijuana and smoking are on the decline – which is great news.
Even though slightly more teens are using ecigarettes over regular cigarettes, many of these teens are choosing ejuice without nicotine. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the survey is that more work needs to done to limit access to all of these items. Education, awareness and prevention are keys to ensuring our teens stay safe.