45% of teens who vape are ‘seriously’ considering quitting, survey finds
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics reported that almost half of teens who vape e-cigarettes seriously contemplate quitting, suggesting that interventions focused on vaping cessation are “urgently needed,” researchers said.
Tracy T. Smith, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, and colleagues assessed national survey results from 14,798 children aged between 12 and 17 years, including 498 (3.6%) who smoked an e-cigarette within the past 30 days.
“Vaping products, like all tobacco products, contain nicotine, and nicotine is addictive,” Smith told Healio. “That means that once adolescents are using vaping products regularly, they may find it difficult to stop.”
Survey data were reported on answers to the questions, “Are you seriously thinking about quitting electronic nicotine products?” and “Have you tried to completely stop using nicotine products within the past 12 months?”
Of the 498 individuals who reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, 215 (44.5%) “seriously” thought about quitting, including 50.2% who reported they were thinking about quitting within the next 30 days; 10.1% who said within the next 6 months; 16.9% who said within the next year; and 22.9% who said beyond a year.
“Adolescents who vape are interested in quitting, and so clinicians and parents should talk to teens to assess their level of interest and what resources they can provide to support them,” Smith said.
The data indicated that, overall, 24.9% of youths tried to quit vaping completely in the last year. The study showed that the motivation to quit, as well as the incidence of quit attempts, were consistent across demographic and smoking history subgroups.
“These data show that a significant portion of adolescents who vape want to quit,” Smith said. “Evidence-based interventions to help adolescents quit vaping are needed.”
According to the study, public health experts have focused on preventing children from vaping, rather than getting them to quit.
“Both [prevention and cessation] are important,” Smith said. “We need interventions to reduce the rate of initiation among adolescents, and interventions to help adolescents who are already vaping to stop.”