A Growing Epidemic: States with the Highest Young Adult Vaping Rates
Although seen as a safe alternative to cigarettes, vaping is far from innocent when it comes to adverse health outcomes.
From Insurify, Oct 20, 2020
The use of e-cigarettes, more commonly known as vaping, has significantly grown throughout the United States over the past decade. Vaping has been marketed as the subtle, modern, and most importantly, less harmful way to smoke compared to traditional cigarettes. While it’s true that e-cigarette users are not lighting up and ingesting tobacco to get their nicotine fix, vaping is not nearly as harmless as it’s made out to be by its manufacturers; e-cigarettes still contain toxic chemicals that the CDC has linked to chronic lung injury, heart failure, and even death.
In December 2019, the federal minimum age of sale for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, was raised from 18 to 21 years. This change in legislation followed pushback from public health advocates against e-cigarette companies’ pernicious targeting of American youth. While traditional cigarette usage among young people decreased by approximately 10 percent between 2011 and 2019, according to the CDC, e-cigarette use has emerged as the most prevalent form of nicotine consumption during this same time period. A primary culprit of these high vaping rates among young people is flavored e-cigarette products — vapor flavors such as mint, fruit, and candy have been pushed to appeal to the youth market.
According to the FDA, 3.6 million adolescents and teens reported e-cigarette use in 2020. While this number is down by 1.8 million from 2019, vaping rates among underage and young adult populations is a pressing public health concern. To understand vaping patterns among the young people in America — specifically, 18 to 24-year-olds — the data scientists at Insurify examined the CDC’s data to identify the states with the highest shares of e-cigarette users among their young adult populations.
- Share of regular e-cigarette users (ages 18-24): 15.27%
- Tobacco settlement payments received by in 2019: $35 million
- Medigap Part G Monthly Cost (2018): $102.83
Hawaii has the second-highest young adult vaping rate. The population of 18-24-year-olds who use e-cigarettes regularly in the Aloha State is 27 percent higher than the national average. According to Hawaii’s Youth Electronic Smoking Devices Prevention Project, young people in Hawaii actually began using e-cigarettes before young adults on the mainland, with a 20 percent rise in vaping between 2011 and 2017. However, Hawaii’s minimum tobacco sales age has been raised to 21, demonstrating the state’s commitment to reducing young adult vaping overall….
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