ARIZONA NEWS

Hooked on Vaping: Almost half of Arizona kids have vaped by 12th grade

Oct 15, 2019, 4:15 AM | Updated: Oct 17, 2019, 5:52 pm

PHOENIX – Almost half of Arizona’s students have vaped by the time they reach 12th grade, according to a statewide survey that shows the rapid rise of e-cigarette use in junior high and high school.

The Arizona Youth Survey is administered every two years by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. It asks eighth, 10th and 12th graders questions about substance use.

The most recent survey released last year found that 27.7% of eighth graders reported they’ve used e-cigarettes or other vaping devices on one or more occasion. That figure was 39.3% for 10th graders and 45.8% for high school seniors.

Each of those grade levels saw an increase of about 10 percentage points from 2016, the first year the survey included a vaping question.

“If trends continue like they have nationally, when we give the survey again in 2020, we would expect it to continue to rise,” said Dustin Pardini, the survey’s primary administrator and an associate professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University.

Pardini said e-cigarettes and other vaping devices are gaining popularity among young people mainly because of the flavors and the fact they’re “much easier” to use than combustible cigarettes.

“It doesn’t involve as much learning how to inhale,” he said. “It’s not as harsh to learn the whole process.”

The next survey, which is set to be released next year, will have additional questions about vaping, including where teens are getting vaping supplies.

It’s already known that teens have been able to get the products at convenience stores and smoke shops despite a state ban on sales to anybody under 18 years old.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit is seeing more retailers across Arizona illegally selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to undercover minors. They’re part of a program called Operation Counter Strike.

“We work with undercover youth between the ages of 14 and 17 all across the state of Arizona,” said Erika Mansur, an attorney with the unit. “The goal of the program is to make sure that retailers are complying with the statewide prohibition on the sale of tobacco products to minors.”

Over the last few years, there was a decline of stores selling tobacco products to minors. The rate dropped to under 10% last summer. It was up to 14% as of last week, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

“Unfortunately, the e-cigarette products have really caused all these numbers to go up,” Mansur said. “In the last year is when we’ve seen the biggest spike.”

She added the uptick comes after decades of progress in getting youth to stop smoking cigarettes.

The Arizona Youth Survey echoes that sentiment, showing a steady decline in cigarette smoking among students. In 2014, 35.8% of 12th graders had smoked at least once. That had dropped to 24.1% by 2018.

“While we’ve been very good at getting rid of cigarettes as a problem or starting to reduce it significantly, we’re seeing this dramatic rise of this thing (vaping) that nobody, I don’t think, expected to happen,” Pardini, the survey’s administrator said.

Array

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Fred Perez was last seen on May 23 around 4 p.m. driving a car in the area of 27th Avenue and Basel...

KTAR.com

Silver alert issued for man last seen driving his car in Phoenix

Fred Perez was last seen on May 23 around 4 p.m. driving a car in the area of 27th Avenue and Baseline Road, police said.

5 hours ago

Arizona senator who wanted amendments to Secure the Border Act...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona senator who wanted amendments to Secure the Border Act explains why he voted ‘yes’

An Arizona senator who wanted amendments to the Secure the Border Act before voting "yes" on May 22, 2024, explains why his tune changed.

7 hours ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

8 hours ago

Deion Alexander Garcia, 27, is accused of child sex crimes while working as a dental assistant in C...

Nick Borgia

Chandler dental assistant indicted for sexual abuse of child patients

A Maricopa County Grand Jury has indicted Deion Alexander Garcia for sexual abuse of young dental patients while providing x-ray exams.

9 hours ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

10 hours ago

Brian Galvez and broken window...

Nick Borgia

Man arrested for allegedly throwing rocks through windows of Mesa businesses

A man was arrested for allegedly throwing rocks through the windows of eight Mesa businesses, police said.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Hooked on Vaping: Almost half of Arizona kids have vaped by 12th grade