ALBION – Drug Free Noble County works diligently to educate and increase awareness of drug and alcohol issues in our community and wants to alert you to the results of a recent survey among students.
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.
In the survey, Students were asked what substances they had consumed via vaping—nicotine, marijuana, or “just flavoring.” “Just flavoring” was most commonly noted by 8th graders (15.1 percent), followed by nicotine (10.9 percent) and marijuana (4.4 percent). Tenth graders reported identical rates of “just flavoring” and nicotine vaping (24.7 percent), but 12.4 percent of 10th graders reported vaping marijuana. A higher percentage of 12th graders reported vaping nicotine (29.7 percent) than flavoring alone (25.7 percent), and 13.1 percent reported vaping marijuana. It is important to note that 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.
More 8th and 10th graders reported that vaping devices and e-liquids containing nicotine are easy or very easy to obtain in 2018 than in 2017.
As with other vaping measures, marijuana vaping increased significantly from when it was first measured in 2017 to 2018. While past month marijuana vaping is fairly low—reported by 2.6 percent of 8th graders, 7.0 percent of 10th graders, and 7.5 percent of 12th graders—these numbers represent respective increases of 59.7 percent, 62.7 percent, and 50.6 percent over 2017 rates. In addition, marijuana oil that is vaped can contain as much as 93% THC, while marijuana in its typical form is usually less than 20% THC.
Use of traditional cigarettes, however, remains at the lowest levels in the survey’s history. Significant five-year declines were reported by all grades. Daily cigarette use was reported by 0.8 percent of 8th graders, 1.8 percent of 10th graders, and 3.6 percent of 12th graders in 2018.
The increase in vaping in concerning. The Surgeon General has this to say about youth and e-cigarettes:
- Risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent 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; and
- The aerosol can contain: ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
Please educate your kids about the dangers of vaping any substance, especially when they don’t know exactly what they are consuming.