How to Reduce the Risk of Youth Vaping?

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“The use of e-cigarettes by young people is at epidemic proportions, with 27% of youth surveyed saying they’d vaped in the last 30 days,” said lead author Nicholas Szoko, M.D., a fellow in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at UPMC Children’s.

‘Future prevention strategies and a positive parent-child relationship can reduce the risk of youth vaping.’

Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping devices.A lot of the traditional methods such as counselling youth on the dangers of tobacco and drug use may not apply to vaping. Pediatricians and parents need a better understanding of what motivates adolescents to give up e-cigarettes.

Researchers analyzed anonymous questionnaires administered in 2,487 high school students in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The surveys asked questions to ascertain if and how often the students used e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, and to determine if any of four “protective factors” validated by previous research were associated with a lower likelihood of vaping or smoking.

The protective factors examined were future orientation, parental monitoring, social support and school connectedness.

The study results show that both positive future orientation and high levels of parental monitoring were linked with a 10% to 25% lower prevalence of recently or ever vaping, compared to peers with lower scores on those protective factors. There was no association between social support or school connectedness and use of e-cigarettes.

All four protective factors were associated with lower prevalence of smoking or use of other tobacco products, but none were linked to intent to quit using tobacco products. This suggests that once young people begin to use tobacco, quitting may be more difficult to promote.

The researchers also noted that these findings should be explored to develop improved youth tobacco prevention efforts, which are different for smoking.

“E-cigarettes are positioned and marketed differently than tobacco cigarettes. They’ve been popularized as tools for smoking cessation, and previous research has found the various flavors and trendy ads for vaping are attractive to youth,” said Szoko.

The frameworks already exist to help clinicians use future orientation and encourage parental monitoring when providing health care to young people. This helps predict developing e-cigarette intervention programs that strengthen these protective factors.

Future orientation is something very distinct that pediatricians and other health care providers can talk with teenagers in the clinic in a comfortable way.

Source: Medindia

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