DALLAS—In a session titled “Addicting a New Generation: Juuling, Vaping, Heat Not Burn, Flavorings, and the Evidence for Why We Should Be Very Concerned,” at the American Thoracic Society Meeting 2019 held May 17 – 22, 2019, in Dallas, Texas, experts described the alarming growth in the rate of e-cigarette use among teens and emerging data on the safety of the new electronic nicotine delivery systems.
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, 1 in 5 high school students were e-cigarette users in 2018, up from approximately 1 in 100 in 2011. Currently, more than 1 in 4 high school students use any tobacco or nicotine product. “Up until 2010, we had been conquering the tobacco epidemic. Tobacco use among youth in our population had been going down,” said Harold J. Farber, MD, MSPH, ATSF, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas. “Now we’re starting to see this rise again.”
Contrary to common belief, the use of e-cigarettes is not necessarily associated with quitting or avoiding smoking tobacco, and may have the opposite effect. A systematic review and meta-analysis among adolescents and young adults found that e-cigarette users had a more than three times greater risk of starting cigarette smoking than those who had never used e-cigarettes.