New data shows fewer Utah teens are vaping

Aug 17, 2022, 5:31 PM | Updated: 10:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY  – As students head back to school this month, health advocates and medical experts are reminding parents and teens that electronic cigarettes, or vaping, are harmful.

New state data shows that campaigns focused on vaping may be making a positive difference.

“I think parents, community, schools are getting a message out and prevention programs are working,” said Sharon Jensen, Jordan School District Consultant in Student Support Services.

She works on substance abuse issues in the district. She also sits on the State Board of Education’s Safe and Drug-free Schools Task Force.

New numbers from the statewide SHARP survey showed a dramatic drop in vaping over the last two years among 8th, tenth, and twelfth graders.

“The shine is wearing off of vaping,” Jensen said. “The kids are kind of getting the message: it is the same as smoking, the nicotine is highly addictive, and it just allows you to let big tobacco to take your money.”

In 2019, 12.4% said they had used E-cigarettes. Last year, that number was less than 7.8%.

“All of the trend is downward,” she said. “But, we’re not really satisfied until it’s all the way down.”

“If we’re looking at children, then the best way to stop smoking is to never start smoking,” said Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonary specialist with Intermountain Healthcare.

She was surprised to hear about the decline because she keeps seeing patients with vaping associated lung injury, or EVALI. Her research also showed that vaping does more than damage the lungs.

“We did find that 39% of patients who had EVALI or Vaping associated lung injury had measurable cognitive impairment a year later,” she said. The average age of those patients was 30.

Parents should be aware of unknown objects that look like a pen or a USB drive but are really a vaping device. E-cigarettes also typically smell fruity.

“Sometimes kids will reach for these things as a way of coping with anxiety,” said Blagev.

Health experts agree prevention begins with open communication between parents and their kids.

“I think it’s taken all of us to help young people realize, no, it’s not a safe alternative to smoking. It is smoking in a different form,” Jensen said.

For more information about E-cigarettes, check out seethroughthevape.org.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in request for shelter during the pandem...
Ashley Moser

Advocates encourage victims, perpetrators to seek help as domestic violence increases

Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in requests for shelter during the pandemic.
1 day ago
UDOT says it spend over $1.5 million on fixing potholes in the last fiscal year, FY 2022....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Submitting a claim to the government for pothole damage? Good luck with that

A pothole can do serious and expensive damage to your car. But as Get Gephardt found, if you hit a bad spot on a Utah road, don’t expect the city or state to rush to pay for your repairs.
1 day ago
We All Belong logo....
Debbie Worthen

Parent advocacy group celebrates kids with special needs

A rally in Draper brings hundred of people together to celebrate inclusion for kids with special needs.
1 day ago
American Leadership Academy....
Shelby Lofton

A Spanish Fork high school homecoming dress code causes tension between students and faculty

Upset students are speaking out tonight after being turned away from their homecoming dance.
1 day ago
The Washington, D.C. Latter-day Saints Temple....
Carole Mikita

Washington, D.C. Temple: A Sacred Monument

The Washington, D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits on 52 acres of land just outside our nation's Capitol.
1 day ago
Aaron Lowe was killed on September 26, 2021....
Matt Rascon

Why court proceedings in Aaron Lowe murder case were postponed nine times

One year after the death of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe on September 26, 2021, prosecutors continue to pour over digital evidence and the case against his accused killer continues to get pushed back in court.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
New data shows fewer Utah teens are vaping