More Minnesota Students Vaping Pot Despite Warnings
With all the warnings out in the past couple of years, the number of students vaping e-cigarettes has remained pretty much flat. However, the number of Minnesota students vaping marijuana is increasing despite all the anti vaping campaigns.
In 2020, it's estimated 1 in 5 Minnesota high school students fessed up to vaping e-cigarettes. A substantial number of the e-cigarette vapers, 65%, admitted to vaping marijuana. The rate of Minnesota middle schools students vaping marijuana is even higher at 72%
“We’re seeing a big addiction crisis building and we need a comprehensive approach,” said Laura Smith of ClearWay Minnesota, a foundation established with funds from the state’s 1998 tobacco settlement. “We continue to be concerned about the health crisis of e-cigarette use.”
In a recent state study, students reported that their first encounter with vaping was with flavored tobacco. Many Minnesota communities are passing or have passed e-cigarette restrictions. “We need to continue doing the policy things that we know worked for reducing youth cigarette smoking,” Smith said. “We need to keep the momentum going.”
Smoking regular cigarettes appeals to very few middle school and high school students. however, they see vaping as different, I guess, not really understanding nicotine.
“These are kids who would not smoke cigarettes,” said Levine Less, executive director of the Tobacco-Free Alliance. “The draw [of flavored tobacco] and the fact it was under the adult radar … it became cool. This reinforces the need for interventions to protect youth from these dangerous products. It’s not just policy, it’s not just education. It’s all of these pieces working together to create change.”
Minnesota has launched a website for teens to quit their vaping habit, MyLifeMyQuit.com
“This research suggests our public health efforts are working but also that there is a need for continued work,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement.
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