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Editorial: Survey shows less teens vaping during the past year

An Associated Press article released on Wednesday reported that vaping among teenagers in the United States fell dramatically this year. In particular, this drop was noticed the most among middle schoolers.

The story goes on to report that a national survey showed “… under 20% of high school students and 5% of middle school students said they were recent users of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products.”

“The survey suggests that the number of school kids who vape fell by 1.8 million in a year, from 5.4 million to 3.6 million, officials said.”

It’s possible this decline can be attributed to teens being scared off by vaping related illnesses and deaths, but things like flavor bans and higher age limits could also be contributing to this decline.

Group efforts through Albert Lea’s Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Albert Lea Area Schools and Freeborn County Partners in Prevention should be credited, along with efforts at both the city and state levels, to raise the age of purchasing tobacco products to 21.

Research done on vaping has shown that not only are electronic cigarettes just as addictive as regular cigarettes, but they also show that vaping is bad for both heart and lungs.

Either way, this recent trend is a positive sign that hopefully continues turning teens away from vaping; however, there is still more to be done.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration barred flavors from smaller vaping devices that can be particularly appealing to minors, but on the other hand it did not apply that same rule to disposable e-cigarettes.

As long as these candy-like flavors are available teens will be at risk to either start vaping or continue vaping, risking harmful effects to their bodies.

Work needs to continue in order to drop this number further. The health of our teens minds and bodies deserve no less an effort.