For the first time in seven years, teen e-cigarette usage is down by a significant margin in Colorado
STATEWIDE, Colo. (KJCT) - The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Tuesday that, according to data from the recently published Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, e-cigarette use among high school students has decreased by a significant 10 percent, dropping from 26 percent in 2019 to 16 percent.
The survey also reports that the percentage of high school students who use traditional cigarettes is down by three percent, dropping from six percent in 2019 to three percent. Tobacco use by high school students in general has decreased by a significant margin of 12 percent, down from 29 percent in 2019 to 17 percent. The CDPHE states that the data may indicate that students are understanding the dangers of smoking and vaping more.
“The latest data is encouraging,” said Natalya Versheure, Tobacco Program Manager at CDPHE. “But there’s still more work to do. We recommend that parents, schools, and communities continue to encourage youth to make healthy choices and reinforce tobacco-free habits.”
However, some of the data indicated that tobacco usage in some areas is increasing or remaining static. The usage of flavored vape products has increased from 18 percent to 23 percent. The percentage of students who use menthol cigarettes has remained steady. The data also suggest that children are experimenting with vaping tobacco and other vapor products at a young age. The percentage of high school students who tried vape products before the age of 13 has increased by nine percent, from 13% in 2019 to 22%. However, usage among middle school students is unchanged.
“Our goal is to ensure that every young person in Colorado can live their healthiest life,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of the CDPHE. “We are encouraged that youth tobacco use is on the decline. We will continue our prevention programming to assure that young people who use tobacco have access to the resources and support that can help them quit, and to prevent youth who do not use tobacco from starting.”
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