A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, using data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, found that most teens and young adults use cannabis not nicotine when vaping.
Titled, “Evaluation of Self-reported Cannabis Vaping Among US Youth and Young Adults Who Use e-Cigarettes,” aimed to differentiate between cannabis and nicotine vaping. Compiled and analyzed by an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health, Ruoyan Sun, the data indicated that 35% of 12- to 14-year-olds, 51.3% of 15- to 17- year-olds and 54.6% of 18- to 24-year-olds reported vaping cannabis, not nicotine.
“This study attempts to distinguish cannabis vaping from nicotine vaping when many people mistakenly interpret vaping as only using nicotine,” said Sun. “We hope that future surveys can ask more detailed questions on substances used in e-cigarettes. These questions would be important with the ongoing youth e-cigarette epidemic, for example, whether youth are getting addicted to nicotine, cannabis or some other substance.”
The assistant professor believes that researchers may have overestimated the prevalence of nicotine vaping. “If we have these data, we might be able to answer some important research questions, such as whether it is easier for smokers to quit using e-cigarettes with high nicotine content, or what are some adverse health effects with respect to the total amount of nicotine vaped, and if there is a dose-response relationship,” he said.