US: Maine’s Teen Vaping Rates Have Dropped

Survey has revealed that vaping rates among the state’s high school students has dropped from 45% in 2019 to 32% last year.

The Maine government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Hilary Schneider, said that tobacco-related cancer in Maine is higher than the national average and cancer remains the leading cause of death for Mainers.

83% of US smokers incorrectly believed that vaping was as harmful, if not more harmful, than smoking.

She went on to say that due to this teen vaping rates, which had nearly doubled between 2017 and 2019, are concerning and that the new survey results are encouraging. “While it is great to see declines in youth cigarette smoking, as well as declines in youth e-cigarette use, the rates of use are still too high,” Schneider said. “Since youth e-cigarette use rates exploded, youth tobacco use rates remain higher than they were more than two decades ago. In fact, Maine’s youth cigarette and e-cigarette use rates remain well above the national average.”

Risk misperceptions about vaping are still on the rise
Sadly, Schneider is associating vaping with smoking, hence contributing to the existing misinformation about the products. In fact a new study published in BMC Public Health examining data from the US PATH Surveys from 2014-2019, found that ‘risk misperceptions’ about vaping are still on the rise. Despite all the scientific evidence indicating the relative safety of the products, sadly in 2019, 83% of US smokers incorrectly believed that vaping was as harmful, if not more harmful, than smoking.

Unsurprisingly the smokers who have these inaccurate beliefs about vapes were less likely to try and/or switch to the products and to keep on smoking. While smokers who correctly know that the products are safer, were 134% more likely to try vaping, 127% more likely to stop smoking, less likely to dual use vapes and cigarettes and less likely to relapse to smoking.

While another study found that restricting the products does little to discourage teen use. Titled, “E-cigarette addiction and harm perception: Does initiation flavor choice matter?,” the current study looked into the relationship between vape flavour type and increased adolescent use. Analysing data from 1,043 teens aged between 12 and 17 years, the research team found that there was actually no significant difference in addiction levels between those initiating with traditional versus non-traditional flavours.