1 in 5 US Teens are Still Vaping Despite Declines in US Youth Vaping Rates

Among high school students, 16 percent said they vaped in the past month, down from 21 percent last year. Vaping by high school students has dropped significantly since 2019 but remains a public health concern.

The progress we’re seeing in reducing youth tobacco use is encouraging,” said CDC Director, “but far too many young people continue to use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

Vaping is an emerging public health concern among youth that needs further action to protect their long-term health and development.

What Motivates US Youth to Vape?

Compared to current smokers, e-cigarette users are more likely to perceive vaping as less harmful, more attractive, and less expensive.

Tobacco-control experts have long assumed that young people vape because they want to quit smoking. But a study by researchers at the University of Michigan suggests that the main reason why kids vape is not to quit smoking but because they want to look cool.

Kids find e-cigarettes appealing because they come in flavors like mint chocolate chip and bubble gum, while traditional cigarettes do not. Most participants said that they used e-cigarettes because they enjoyed the flavor of vape juice and were satisfied with how they tasted.

Many young people vape because they believe it’s safer than smoking cigarettes or because they’re curious about e-cigarettes’ rising popularity among adults.

The study indicates that youth and young adults who vape are motivated by curiosity and the desire to fit in, with satisfaction from vaping also playing a role. External factors such as exposure to tobacco marketing in stores where they shopped and on TV shows that teens are more exposed to vaping.

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