Local use among youth
One out of ten Winona County 8th, 9th and 11th graders reported past-month e-cigarette use (2016 Minnesota Student Survey). Among 11th graders, rates of e-cigarette use were similar to marijuana use and nearly double rates of conventional cigarette use (Figure 1). E-cigarette use is most often referred to as “vaping”.
The minimum legal consumption age when an individual can purchase tobacco products is 21.
Why youth vaping is harmful
Although many students still choose not to “vape”, one of our concerns is that students and adults are not aware of the risk and harms associated with e-cigarette use. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance. The 2020 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey found that many of the students who currently use e-cigarettes also experience a sign of dependence (see figure below).
Although it was originally sold as a tobacco cessation device to help quit cigarette smoking, e-cigarettes are branded with thousands of flavors appealing to youth. One e-cigarette device pod can be the equivalent of a pack of standard cigarettes. There are also at least four known cancer-causing chemicals found in the most popular brand e-cigarettes.
Support your teen
How to talk with your kid about vaping: