June 21, 2018

For Teens, Cigarettes Are Out, Juuling Is In

What parents and educators need to know about the increasing popularity of new forms of smoking, like e-cigarettes and Juuls.

Here’s the good news about smoking: since 2006, rates of traditional cigarette smoking have fallen dramatically among teenagers.

The bad news? New types of smoking—including vaping and Juuling—are quickly growing in popularity, which is worrying parents and educators.

For more than a decade, EDC’s Shari Kessel Schneider has studied trends in teenagers’ health through her work on the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, funded by the MetroWest Health Foundation. In this podcast, she discusses the health risks of e-cigarette use, social media’s role in shaping teens’ attitudes toward Juuling, and how parents and schools are responding.

On the rise of e-cigarettes

Schneider: “In our most recent survey in 2016, we found that 28 percent of high school students have tried an e-cigarette, and 15 percent used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. But everything we are hearing from school staff, parents, and even teens themselves indicates that we will see a big jump when we collect our next round of data in the fall of 2018.”

On why teens are drawn to using e-cigarettes

Schneider: “Teens are taking it upon themselves to post pictures of themselves vaping, doing tricks, showing how they use e-cigarettes . . . And what kids are seeing online is making it not only socially acceptable to vape or Juul, but it’s actually making it seem desirable and cool.”

On when to talk to kids about Juuling

Schneider: “You want to make sure you are talking to your kids early, even before middle school, because a lot of youth are first using e-cigarettes in middle school.”