Even before they surveyed hundreds of residents on the issue, high-schoolers Mitchell van der Noll and Aiden Williams knew e-cigarettes was a growing problem among teenagers in town.
The high school seniors, who distributed the survey as interns with Town Hall this spring, said the number of students using the devices has “exploded” over the last year or two.
Students can be found smoking e-cigarettes in the high school bathrooms, in the parking lots, at parties outside of school and most recently, at the middle schools, they said. Most use the newest device, a Juul vape pen.
“It kind of came out of nowhere,” Williams said. “You can see anyone from any social group using them at kind of any time. If you go into the bathroom at the high school there’s probably a greater than 50 percent chance you would find someone (smoking).”
The survey, distributed on a community Facebook page, revealed that Ridgefielders are taking notice. More than 39 percent of the 240 people surveyed said e-cigarettes surpass alcohol, heroin, marijuana and cocaine as the “most relevant substance abuse problem in our community today.”
About 97 percent said they have heard of the “widespread usage amongst teenagers” and almost 91 percent that they knew about high schoolers vaping in bathrooms during school.
A new poll released today finds that 72 percent of New York voters favor raising the minimum age for the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in New York state from age 18 to 21. Fewer than two-in-ten voters (18 percent) oppose increasing the sale age for tobacco products.
“The poll found that voters are concerned about tobacco use among young people and that New Yorkers across the political spectrum are broadly supportive of raising the age for sale of tobacco,” noted Jeffrey Plaut of Global Strategy Group, the firm conducting the survey.
Other poll findings include:
Support for increasing the tobacco age comes from a broad-based coalition of voters, including 69 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents.
Voters from across the state support increasing the tobacco age to 21, with support at 71 percent among New York City voters, 72 percent among suburban voters, and 73 percent among Upstate voters.
Eight out of ten voters (81 percent) are concerned about smoking and other tobacco use among young people under age 21 in New York.
The poll also found that voters still strongly support raising the tobacco sale age to 21 even when they hear arguments on both sides of the issue. After hearing common arguments on both sides, more than two-thirds (68 percent) favor the increased age and 23 percent oppose it.
“Tobacco 21 laws that include ENDS should reduce initiation of these products among youth, similar to the suggested impact MLSA laws will have on initiation patterns for cigarettes.Reduced initiation of ENDS through MLSA laws may result in reduced initiation of cigarettes, and it may also result in delayed initiation of cigarette use, because the evidence for ENDS serving as a gateway to cigarette use is increasing. 4, 14 Regardless, it is plausible to predict that local, state, or federal MLSA laws would have a critical role in substantially reducing nicotine exposure among adolescents and young adults, particularly those aged 15 to 17 years.”
“One puff of any of the flavored e-liquids that we tested exposes the smoker to unacceptably dangerous levels of these aldehydes, most of which originates from thermal decomposition of the flavoring compounds,” said Khylstov. “These results demonstrate the need for further, thorough investigations of the effects of flavoring additives on the formation of aldehydes and other toxic compounds in e-cigarette vapors.”
A new analysis of survey data from nearly 130,000 middle‐school and high‐school students raises serious questions about the widespread belief that e‐cigarettes help reduce the number of teenagers who smoke tobacco.
When they processed the survey data for those 17‐year‐old girls who had vaped, however, a stunning 43 percent were tobacco smokers. “If e‐cigarettes are a substitute for smoking, we would expect the exact opposite,” says Ladner. “We would expect to see even more of the vapers not smoking.”