Smoking and Vaping Trends Affected by Adult Quit and Teen Shift

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The impact of vaping on adults and teens can hurt one group while potentially helping another.

Although studies have shown that using e-cigarettes or vapes can help those who smoke cigarettes to quit, recent data has shown that vaping has skyrocketed nicotine addiction among teens and young adults, according to Tippecanoe County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Loomis.

“They thought vaping would help people quit smoking,” Loomis said, “but in fact, since teens started vaping…about 33-35% of sophomores in high school have tried vaping. vaping. So they never really smoked cigarettes. .

“So it’s an interesting phenomenon that those who vaped early and didn’t smoke cigarettes seem to end up smoking cigarettes. In the older population, vaping seems to help you quit smoking.”

A study from Monitoring the Future – an annual survey of drug use among eighth, 10th and 12th graders conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – found that in 2019, 16% of 8th graders, 30% of 10th graders, and 35% of 12th graders reported vaping.

What is the difference between smoking and vaping?

According to, smoking delivers nicotine to the smoker by burning tobacco. Vaping delivers its nicotine by heating a liquid which is then inhaled.

Is one more dangerous than the other?

Having a nicotine addiction is not good for your health no matter how you receive it. However, experts claim that smoking tobacco cigarettes causes more serious health problems than vaping; so far.

“Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer,” says an excerpt from the Indiana Cancer Consortium’s lung cancer paper, “because 80-90% of lung cancer deaths in the United States are smoking-related. “.

Studies on vaping are relatively recent. The long-term effects are yet to be seen as they were invented in 2003 and their popularity arguably peaked in late 2018 to 2019.

That being said, online resources indicate that vaping does not necessarily lead directly to lung cancer.

“While the long-term effects of vaping are still being studied, research indicates that vaping does not directly cause lung cancer,” states a 2020 article from the Moffitt Cancer Center, “However, for people who have never smoked before and are not planning to, vaping may increase their risk of lung cancer since most vaping liquids contain nicotine and toxic chemicals.”

“E-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research has shown may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine,” wrote Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center. for the Prevention of Heart Disease. “What’s worse (is) many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine than they would from a combustible tobacco product: users can purchase extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration high in nicotine, or increase the voltage of the e-cigarette to get a bigger dose of the substance.”

How does it affect people differently?

Often due to addictive characteristics, smokers tend to find it difficult to quit. Research indicates that e-cigarettes are just as addictive, if not more so.

Why did Loomis observe different age groups reacting differently to vaping? The main determinant of vaping addiction is apparently whether one smoked first and “weaned” off vaping, or never smoked and used e-cigarettes as their primary source of nicotine.

“Teenagers (mainly today) have never smoked for the most part,” Loomis said. “Statistically, if you look at 33-35% of teens who vape, there’s a good chance they’ll try cigarettes. But will they start vaping again? I don’t think it’s been around long enough to really be able to understand that particular aspect of it.

How are Hoosiers affected by smoking?

Loomis noted that Indiana, while not the worst state for smoking rates, is far from the best.

“Obviously if you look at the numbers coast to coast, there’s a lot less smoking per capita per 100,000 people,” Loomis said. “…I think on the whole Indiana is doing pretty well, but they’re not where they need to be. They’re nowhere near Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama; some of the Southern states, where you see high levels of smoking.”

According to the CDC, Indiana is in the highest category, with 18.5 to 23.8 percent of adults using cigarettes in 2019.

Other Notable Stats

  • The national outbreak of emergency room visits related to vaping products is known as: E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). More than 2,800 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths have been reported to the CDC in all 50 states, according to the Indiana Department of Health’s Smoking Prevention and Cessation Annual Report for fiscal year 2020. ‘State. In Indiana, there have been 60 confirmed cases and 6 deaths (as of 2020).
  • E-cigarettes were the most used tobacco product by Hoosier Middle School (5.5%) and High School (18.5%) students in 2018.
  • “The tobacco industry spends $293 million to market and advertise its products in Indiana each year, and the vast majority of that money is spent on point-of-sale marketing strategies such as tobacco discounts. pricing and in-store advertising,” the same report said. .
  • About 1,770 Hoosiers die each year from other people’s smoking, such as exposure to second-hand smoke or smoking while pregnant.
  • “About 1 in 4 (58 million) non-smokers in the United States are exposed to second-hand smoke, including 15 million children between the ages of 3 and 11,” the report said.

Indiana is actively working toward a more smoke-free and vaping-free state with a variety of programs and resources for all ages to help quit. Below are a few.

According to Loomis, using these available resources and having a strong support system are among the best ways to quit smoking or vaping.

“I think the best way is (to) look at online sources, talk to your doctor,” Loomis said. “Join a program that will help you. Having someone to report to – that’s always great.”

Margaret Christopherson is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @MargaretJC2.

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