Is There Such a Thing as a Teen Vaping Epidemic?

Does the teen vaping epidemic truly exist

News reports are filled with accounts of how vaping has turned into an epidemic among teenagers.

Experts are blaming a particularly addictive vape pen pervading American schools for encouraging teens to become hooked on high levels of nicotine. While public health officials and legislators are in a frenzy preventing young adults from vaping, other reports show that the epidemic is just a myth.

Smoking and Vaping are Not as Rampant as Experts Think

Data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that smoking and vaping rates both went down in 2016 for the first time. The survey finds that only 11.3 percent of high school students smoked e-cigs, while 8 percent smoked traditional cigarettes.

Prohibitionists Want a Perfect Ban

The idea behind popularizing vaping, with e-cigarette starter kits, was to help traditional smokers to quit smoking. Health agencies argue that the shift to e-cigs would result in healthier adults because vape pens pose fewer health risks than standard cigarettes.

Prohibitionists, however, only want a complete ban of e-cigarettes.

Former New York Times reporter John Tierney shares that some members of the CDC and the surgeon general’s office have covered up data that shows the benefits of vaping. In fact,   the CDC and the surgeon’s general’s office have pressured some local health offices to ban the practice altogether.

Vaping as a Healthier Alternative to Smoking

A study from the University of Michigan reports that the health benefits of e-cigs exceed the risks. In fact, vape pens contain less than the 7,000 substances found in cigarette smoke and in far smaller quantities, as well. Furthermore, vaping can gradually help lower a person’s nicotine intake.

Vaping poses fewer health risks than cigarette smoking and teens are not doing much of either. Instead of inciting nationwide panic over the epidemic, however, it would be better to educate young folks about the risks of smoking.