"Monitoring the Future" (MTF) is a survey of drug use and attitudes among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in hundreds of schools across the country. The most striking result of this year's survey is a substantial increase in vaping. Overall, rates of vaping are second only to alcohol among substances surveyed, with 17.6 percent of 8th graders, 32.3 percent of 10th graders, and 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting past-year vaping.
Types and Trends
In the survey, students were asked what substances they had consumed via vaping—nicotine, marijuana, or "just flavoring." "Just flavoring" usage was most commonly noted by 8th graders. Tenth graders reported identical rates of "just flavoring" and nicotine vaping (24.7 percent), and 12.4 percent reported vaping marijuana. A higher percentage of 12th graders reported vaping nicotine than flavoring alone, and 13.1 percent reported vaping marijuana. Students do not always know what is in the device they are using; labeling is inconsistent, and they often use devices bought by other people. The most popular vaping devices on the market do not offer options that are nicotine-free.
Surgeon General's Concerns
While the use of traditional cigarettes remains at the lowest levels in the survey's history, the increase in vaping is concerning. The Surgeon General has this to say about youth and e-cigarettes:
"Risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and lowering of impulse control;
Nicotine can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning;
Nicotine can prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine;
The aerosol can contain: ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavorings linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene (found in car exhaust); and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
Please educate your kids about the dangers of vaping, especially when they don’t know exactly what they are consuming.
Multiple Authors including coalition staff, board members, and coalition members contribute to this page.