HEALTH

Vaping Use Increasing Among Utah Teens

Dec 17, 2018, 6:37 PM | Updated: 9:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Vaping and use of e-cigarettes has exploded among teens this past year, surging faster than any other substance one national survey has tracked over more than four decades.

Twice as many high school students nationwide used electronic cigarettes with nicotine this year compared to last year, and Utah has seen a similar surge. That’s according to a nationwide survey of teen smoking, drinking and drug use over 44- years.

While use of alcohol, cigarettes and opioids have declined, the spike in use of e-cigarettes is the largest single-year jump in the survey’s four-decade history.

“I used to smoke a lot of cigarettes,” said Orem resident Jeffery Andrews, who stopped smoking cigarettes and switched to vaping.

He said he feels a lot better about vaping.

“The flavor of it, and gets you that nicotine buzz,” said Jeffrey Andrews.  “A little safer than cigarettes I suppose.”

Andrews was old enough to buy vape products. The owner of the store where he shops said he makes sure with every customer. He cards every customer to make sure they’re 19.

“My point of sale system will not even make a sale if an ID is not scanned,” said Juan Bravo, the store owner and president of the Utah Vapor Business Association.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Bravo said he keeps a record of every transaction to verify it is legal.

“I see the value in this product, but it is an adult product for adult smokers,” he said.

Bravo represents 15 other store owners as president of the Utah Vapor Business Association. He said they started to association in 2017 to make sure legitimate vape businesses have a voice in future legislation.

“(We’re) heavily fighting to implement sensible legislation to keep these products out of the hands of kids,” he said.

The federally funded survey from University of Michigan researchers found one in five high school seniors reported vaping nicotine in the previous month.

“I was shocked to hear that the numbers were as high as they were,” said Ryan Bartlett, media coordinator of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program with the Utah Department of Health.

Bartlett said he has seen a similar trend in Utah.

In Utah last year, more than 10 percent of 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using e-cigarettes in the last month, while more than 23 percent said they had tried vaping at least once.

With a legal limit of age 19 to buy vaping products, officials have asked how kids are getting them?

Bartlett said teens are getting e-cigarettes, or stealing them, from older friends or parents.

“Or, they’ll have somebody go into these shops and buy them for them,” he said.

One of the problems for parents or other adults is trying to detect some e-cigarettes.

“The fact (is) that they are disguised, and so easy to conceal,” said Bartlett.

Some e-cigarettes resemble computer flash drives and cannot be easily detected. Bravo said he longer sells those kinds of products in his store.

“It was when those devices started being sold in gas stations, convenient stores, and places like that that you saw a spike in youth use,” he said.

Bartlett said e-cigarette use has risen to become the biggest issue in the tobacco prevention program.
“They are becoming increasingly more so,” Bartlett said. “That’s one of the biggest things that we’re addressing right now.”

Overall, regular cigarette smoking in Utah has declined about 10 percent over the last 20 years.

If you want to quit tobacco products today you can go waystoquit.org or tobaccofreeUtah.org.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Health

J.M. Smucker is recalling some Jif peanut butter products due to salmonella. (Credit: The J.M. Smuc...
Ramishah Maruf, CNN

J.M. Smucker is recalling some Jif peanut butter products due to salmonella

J.M. Smucker is recalling certain types of Jif peanut butter in the US because of a potential salmonella contamination.
2 days ago
Cans of powdered formula sit on a kitchen counter on May 18, 2022 in Santa Rosa, California. As a n...
KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

Senate OKs overhaul of baby formula rules in aid program

The Senate has approved a bill aimed at easing the baby formula shortage for families participating in a government assistance program known as WIC.
3 days ago
This summer, every state will be rolling out 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline nu...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

States prepare for summer launch of new 988 suicide prevention number

This summer, every state will be rolling out 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number to call for mental health crises — similar to how people can call 911 for medical emergencies.
4 days ago
Baby formula is offered for sale at a big box store on Jan. 13, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. Baby fo...
MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Health Writer

Lawmakers grill FDA commissioner over baby formula shortage

The FDA's commissioner is facing congressional lawmakers for the first time over the national shortage of baby formula.
4 days ago
(Adobe Stock)...
ZEKE MILLER and MIKE STOBBE, Associated Press

Officials say more areas of US may see mask recommendations

U.S. officials say the COVID-19 pandemic could get worse in the U.S. with the possibility of mask advisories returning.
5 days ago
...
Tamara Vaifanua, KSL TV

Wellness Bus taking health care to Utah neighborhoods

People on the go may not always make time for important health screenings, but there’s a convenient option you may not know about right in your neighborhood.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Vaping Use Increasing Among Utah Teens