14% of High School Students Vape – Strategies to Help Combat the Habit

14% of High School Students Vape – Strategies to Help Combat the Habit

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October 2022 indicates that 14.1% of high school students and 3.3% of middle school students report current e-cigarette use. Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most used tobacco product among middle and high school students in the U.S., with 42.3% of users indicating that they are frequent users.


While school have increased their vaping prevention efforts, many adolescents may still not be aware of the risks associated with e-cigarettes, including understanding that most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm developing adolescent brains. There has also been a recent increase in the use of vaping devices to consume marijuana or cannabis products, which present additional risks to teens.


Strategies for Schools to Help Stop Vaping

In addition to the kid-friendly flavors, one of the things that makes vaping so attractive to young people is the relative ease of access and ease of hiding vaping devices from parents and school. This adds to the challenge school leaders face in combatting vaping. But there are several expert-recommended strategies that schools can implement to help build awareness and improve vaping prevention.

  • Implement clear policies. Schools should develop or revise substance misuse policies to include the use of e-cigarettes and associated consequences. Policies and expectations should be clearly communicated to students, parents, and school staff.
  • Develop a plan to get help for students with addiction. It’s important to recognize that vaping and addiction are health issues, not just behavioral issues. As such, it’s important to have plans and resources in place to provide appropriate support for students who are addicted to e-cigarettes.
  • Include adults in your vaping prevention plans. Vaping prevention education should not only focus on students. Bring parents, caregivers, school staff, and coaches into your program in meaningful ways. A community of supportive adults who are knowledgeable about the signs and risks associated with vaping can help support your school prevention efforts and direct students to help when needed.
  • Design an effective educational program for students. An effective educational program for students will include the facts about the risks of e-cigarette use. But it’s also important to incorporate media literacy information to teach teens how to recognize deceptive marketing tactics used by the e-cigarette industry to specifically target youth. Incorporating opportunities for student-led anti-vaping activities and campaigns is also an effective approach that empowers students to become part of the solution.


Vector’s Student Safety & Wellness Courses Can Help

Our engaging online modules feature middle and high school peer presenters and cover critical safety, wellness, and SEL topics and create a positive school culture. The Alcohol, Marijuana and Vaping courses are customized for grades 6-8 and 9-12 and teach students about the dangers of substance misuse, the influence of social pressure, and strategies to avoid substance use.


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