Vaping more common among youth more detached from school
PALO ALTO, California — California youth with low levels of connectedness to their schools have higher rates of e-cigarette use than their more connected peers.
Reporting in 2013-2015, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that 18% of students with low levels of school connectedness in grades 7, 9, 11, and non-traditional programs had used e-cigarettes at least seven times—almost three times the estimate for youth with high levels of school connectedness (6%).
The new report found substantial evidence that e-cigarette use among youth increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes.
Data available on kidsdata.org show that e-cigarette use is more common than smoking: 14% of 11th graders in California had used e-cigarettes at least seven times compared with 7% who had smoked cigarettes.
This pattern held across levels of school connectedness, grade levels, genders, race/ethnicities and sexual orientation. Tobacco use or smoking in any form is highly addictive and unsafe, and the long-term health risks require intervention at an early age to prevent uptake and escalation.
Efforts across the state are trying to address this growing issue. The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford School of Medicine is a resource for anyone who works with youth. It contains a set of modules focused on e-cigarettes and vapes, messages on nicotine addiction, information and resources concerning positive youth development, and school policies that provide information about school tobacco policies and tobacco control efforts. Also noteworthy, the California Department of Public Health continues to run a Still Blowing Smoke campaign with special attention to youth and e-cigarettes.
Kidsdata.org’s new indicators about e-cigarette use are among 75 updated indicators on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use from the California Department of Education’s Healthy Kids Survey. In partnership with WestEd, Kidsdata.org is working to feature data on the health and well-being of youth in schools.