Teen Vaping Statistics: Will Teen Vapers Suffer Health Issues in 2025?

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have surged as the primary choice of tobacco product among American youth. Starting in 2011, their popularity among middle and high school students has steadily risen, peaking in 2019 with a staggering 27.5% of high school students using them. Despite recent declines, the prevalence of e-cigarette use among young individuals remains a critical public health concern; not many are left wondering how to vape and take a proper inhale.

Statistics from 2023 paint a stark picture: 4.6% of middle school students and 10% of high school students—equating to approximately 2.13 million students—reported current e-cigarette use. Among these users, a concerning 11.4% of middle school students and 29.9% of high school students reported using e-cigarettes daily. Flavored e-cigarettes dominated the market, with 89.4% of users opting for these varieties.

The most common device types used by youth included disposable e-cigarettes (60.7%), prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges (16.1%), and tanks or mod systems (5.9%). Equally worrisome is the ease with which young people access these products, with social sources being the primary means of acquisition for 56.9% of users, closely followed by retail outlets at 43.1%. These figures underscore the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to curb youth e-cigarette use and safeguard public health from the dangers of vaping. For students and researchers looking to delve deeper into this issue, there are services that write papers for money to assist with comprehensive research and analysis. These services provide expertly written papers that can help in understanding the various dimensions of the issue.

The Advent of Vaping

To understand this e-cig epidemic, we need to address this question first - what is vaping? Well, vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, with its roots tracing back to the early 1960s when Herbert A. Gilbert invented the first prototype of an electronic cigarette. However, it wasn't until 2003 that Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, created the modern e-cigarette. His device used ultrasonic technology to vaporize a liquid solution, offering an alternative to smoking tobacco. According to our essay writing services experts his invention set the stage for today's commercially successful e-cigarettes.

As vaping technology evolved, the industry expanded, introducing innovative products like nicotine salt-based e-liquids. However, the rise in e-cigarette use among teenagers and young adults has led to increasing concern and negative publicity.

E-cigarette use has grown among adults, but its impact on youth is particularly troubling. Dr. Pushan Jani, a pulmonary oncologist at UT Physicians, points out that two out of five high school students are currently vaping, likening it to the widespread cigarette smoking of the 1950s and 60s.

Reducing the use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is a key objective of Healthy People 2030. While e-cigarettes may help some adults quit smoking if used as a full replacement, there are worries about the dual use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes. Moreover, nicotine use among young adults poses significant risks to brain development, which continues into the mid-20s.

According to the 2021 National Health Interview Survey, 4.5% of adults aged 18 and over currently use e-cigarettes, with the highest usage among those aged 18-24. Usage varies by race and ethnicity, with 5.2% of White non-Hispanic adults using e-cigarettes, compared to 2.9% of Asian non-Hispanic, 2.4% of Black or African American non-Hispanic, and 3.3% of Hispanic or Latino adults.

One of the factors contributing to the widespread use of e-cigarettes among youth is the perception of affordability and accessibility. Many teens and young adults frequently search for 'how much are vapes' online, seeking inexpensive options that fit their budgets. The low cost and ease of obtaining e-cigarettes can make them particularly appealing to younger individuals, exacerbating the public health challenge.

What is an E-cigarette or Vape

E-cigarettes are devices that heat a solution, usually containing nicotine and flavoring, to create vapor. They first appeared on the market in 2007 and have since undergone numerous changes. Early versions were designed to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and pens. Later, "pod mods" were introduced, with e-liquid sold in disposable pods. In 2015, the brand JUUL revolutionized the market with its sleek design, high nicotine delivery, and youth-oriented marketing, attracting a new generation to nicotine.

Today, the smoke and vape market is rapidly evolving, offering a wide range of disposable e-cigarettes that do not use prefilled pods. These modern e-cigarettes often contain some of the highest nicotine levels ever seen in tobacco products. Some products claim to be "tobacco-free," using synthetic nicotine made in labs, but they still contain nicotine.

Why Do People Vape

People vape for various reasons. For some, it's a way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes can provide the nicotine they crave without the harmful tar and chemicals found in regular cigarettes. Others are drawn to the wide range of flavors available, from fruity to minty, making vaping an enjoyable experience.

Social factors also play a significant role. Many young people vape because it's seen as trendy or because their friends do it. The sleek designs and discrete nature of e-cigarettes make them appealing and easy to use in social settings.

Some users believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking. While e-cigarettes may be less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, they are not risk-free. Nicotine addiction is a major concern, and the long-term health effects of vaping are still being studied.

Additionally, some people vape as a method to help with weight loss. But does vaping make you lose weight? There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. However, nicotine is known to act as an appetite suppressant, leading some to use e-cigarettes to reduce cravings and manage their weight.

Age Gradient in Vaping and Patterns of Use

E-cigarette use varies significantly across different age groups, with young people being the primary targets of aggressive marketing strategies by manufacturers and sellers. These companies exploit the lack of strict federal regulations on e-cigarette marketing, promoting their products through TV, radio, the internet, retail environments, and recreational venues. Despite the ban on cigarette advertising in 1971 to protect children, e-cigarette marketing remains pervasive.

In 2021, more than 75% of middle and high school students were exposed to the marketing or advertising of nicotine or tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. This exposure increases perceptions that e-cigarettes are stylish, popular, safe, and enjoyable, normalizing and glamorizing their use. E-cigarette companies appeal to youth with kid-friendly flavors that resemble toys, food, or cartoon characters, further enticing young users.

Current vaping statistics 2024 among youth show that:

  • 11.4% of middle school users and 29.9% of high school users vape daily.
  • 89.4% of young users prefer flavored e-cigarettes.
  • Disposable e-cigarettes are the most popular (60.7%), followed by prefilled/refillable pods or cartridges (16.1%).

Young people mainly acquire e-cigarettes through social sources (56.9%) and retail sources (43.1%).

In contrast, e-cigarette use among adults has remained relatively low and stable since around 2012. However, there has been a slight increase recently, from 4.5% in 2021 to 6% in 2022. The highest usage among adults is seen in the 23- to 24-year-old age group, with 22.8% reporting current use.

Among youth:

  • 7.7% of students (2.13 million) reported current use.
  • More than 1 in 4 (25.2%) of current youth users vape daily.
  • More than 1 in 3 (34.7%) use e-cigarettes at least 20 out of the last 30 days

Flavored e-cigarettes are extremely popular among youth, with nearly 90% of users opting for flavors like fruit, candy, desserts, mint, and menthol. Over half of these users prefer flavors labeled as "ice" or "iced."

The most commonly used devices are:

  • Disposables (60.7%)
  • Prefilled/refillable pods or cartridges (16.1%)

The leading brands among young users include:

  • Elf Bar (56.7%)
  • Esco Bars (21.6%)
  • Vuse (20.7%)
  • JUUL (16.5%)
  • Mr. Fog (13.6%).

These patterns of use and the targeted marketing strategies highlight the ongoing challenges in addressing youth e-cigarette use and the need for stronger regulatory measures.

What Percent of Gen Z Vapes?

Young adults aged 18-24, known as Generation Z, are significantly impacted by vaping, according to data from the CDC. Let's take a closer look at the top 5 states where the teen vaping epidemic is most prevalent:

Percentage of Gen Zers Who Vape Daily
North Dakota

Vaping vs Smoking: Which is Worse?

Is vaping worse than smoking? - Well, this debate centers around health risks and addiction. Both cigarettes and e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that makes it difficult for users to quit. Nicotine withdrawal can cause significant discomfort and cravings. Additionally, nicotine can interfere with brain development in individuals under age 25, affecting learning, mood control, attention, and impulse control.

One concern is the "dual use" of both smoking and vaping. Research on dual use is limited, but a 2022 review suggested that using both could be as harmful or possibly more harmful than just smoking alone. The combined inhalation of smoke and e-cigarette aerosol could potentially lead to higher levels of pathology than either inhalant alone.

Traditional cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemicals, including tar and carbon monoxide, which are known to cause serious health issues like lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Smoking is widely recognized as one of the leading causes of preventable death globally. For those who smoke, accessories like cigarette cases are often used to carry and protect their cigarettes, indicating a lifestyle heavily integrated with regular smoking habits. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, heat a liquid solution to create vapor. This vapor typically contains fewer toxic substances than cigarette smoke. However, modified vapors are not risk-free alternatives and have been associated with an increased risk of diseases, including lung illnesses, stroke, cancer, pneumonia, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

While vaping may reduce exposure to some harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, it still carries the risk of addiction and potential long-term health effects. Therefore, neither option is recommended for maintaining good health.

Health Risks of Vaping, Statistics and Real-Life Cases

The statistics surrounding health risks of vaping are alarming. Vaping has been linked to respiratory diseases, nicotine addiction, and exposure to harmful chemicals. Recent studies have highlighted additional side effects of vaping, such as increased exposure to heavy metals like lead and uranium, which can harm brain and organ development, particularly in teens.

Respiratory Issues and EVALI

One of the most severe health risks associated with vaping is lung inflammation. A medical condition known as EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury) was first identified in 2019 to describe severe lung illnesses related to vaping. By February 2020, the American Lung Association and the CDC reported 2,807 cases or deaths attributed to EVALI. This condition is primarily linked to additives and preservatives in e-cigarette liquids, which can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Symptoms of EVALI may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid and shallow breathing

The primary risk factor for EVALI is the current or previous use of a vaping device, particularly those containing THC. According to the CDC, over 80% of people hospitalized due to EVALI reported using THC-containing vaping products, although many also used nicotine-containing products. Notably, nearly 80% of EVALI patients who used THC-containing e-cigarettes obtained their products from informal sources such as family, friends, dealers, or online rather than from commercial outlets.

Brain Development and Addiction

For young adults, vaping can inhibit brain development. Nicotine affects synaptic development, which is crucial for learning and social skills. Since the brain forms new connections between existing cells rather than growing new ones, nicotine use can hinder this synaptic formation, impacting cognitive and social abilities. Additionally, nicotine in e-cigarettes can lead to rapid addiction, sometimes within 48 to 72 hours of use. This addiction increases the likelihood of developing other substance dependencies, such as alcohol and drugs. The age group most affected by vaping addiction is 15- to 19-year-olds.

Asthma and Other Respiratory Complications

Teens and young adults who vape are at a higher risk of asthma exacerbations and developing asthma. For those with pre-existing asthma, vaping can worsen symptoms, leading to more frequent inhaler use and severe respiratory complications.NASEM (2018) identified several ways in which the nicotine in e-cigarette aerosol might damage the respiratory system, as well as how small particulate matter and flavorings might independently impair lung function. For instance, saccharides used in making sweet e-cigarette juice flavors break down upon heating, producing furans and aldehydes that can irritate the respiratory tract. Harms to the respiratory system from e-cigarette use are more likely when initiation begins at a young age.

Dangerous Chemicals and Explosions

E-cigarettes contain various dangerous chemicals, including heavy metals and toxic additives. Besides lung illnesses, these chemicals can cause a range of health issues, from cardiovascular problems to cancer. Moreover, there have been reports of e-cigarette batteries exploding, causing severe injuries and even deaths. These explosions can lead to burns, fractures, and other traumatic injuries.

Oral Health/Disease

Your mouth is home to a variety of bacteria, some good and some harmful. The balance between these bacteria is crucial for oral health. E-cigarettes can disrupt this balance, leading to a condition called dysbiosis, where harmful bacteria outnumber the beneficial ones. This imbalance can increase the risk of gum disease.

When harmful bacteria in the mouth increase, your body's immune system responds. Cells like macrophages and dendritic cells detect these bacteria and trigger inflammation to fight the infection. However, e-cigarettes can weaken the immune response, making it harder for your body to combat the harmful bacteria effectively.

E-cigarettes release harmful chemicals, including nicotine and aldehydes like formaldehyde and acrolein. These chemicals can damage the cells in your gums, reduce their ability to repair themselves and make them more vulnerable to infection and inflammation. This damage can lead to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.

Furthermore, e-cigarette vapors have been found to increase cytotoxicity and DNA damage in human gingival fibroblasts, affecting cell proliferation and viability. These harmful effects extend to the broader oral cavity, causing inflammation, oxidative stress, and potential long-term health issues.

Vaping During Pregnancy

Vaping while pregnant poses significant risks to the health and development of the unborn baby due to exposure to nicotine and other harmful chemicals. Studies have shown that e-cigarette vapor can lead to low birth weight, preterm birth, and potentially long-term health issues for the baby. Babies born with stunted growth in the womb are at a higher risk of cardiovascular problems later in life.

E-cigarettes contain numerous harmful substances, including nicotine and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), similar to traditional cigarettes. These chemicals can disrupt the development of the fetus and increase the risk of pregnancy complications. Despite being marketed as a safer alternative, e-cigarettes still pose considerable dangers to pregnant women and their babies.

Additional research highlights that nicotine exposure during pregnancy can interfere with the development of the baby's brain and lungs, potentially leading to cognitive and respiratory issues. The placenta, which is crucial for nutrient and oxygen exchange between mother and fetus, can be adversely affected by nicotine, resulting in reduced blood flow and nutrient delivery.

Vaping and breastfeeding is also hazardous. Nicotine inhaled through vaping enters a mother's bloodstream and passes easily into breast milk. Research indicates that nicotine in breast milk can disrupt an infant's sleep patterns and increase the risk of blood sugar and thyroid problems, which can contribute to childhood obesity. Furthermore, nicotine is thought to decrease milk supply in nursing mothers by lowering levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible for stimulating milk production.

Overall, vaping while breastfeeding or during pregnancy is strongly discouraged due to the substantial risks posed to both the mother and the child. Pregnant and nursing mothers are advised to avoid all nicotine products to ensure the healthiest outcomes for their babies.

How Does Vaping Affect Your Brain

Nicotine, found in vaping products, is highly addictive. When you vape, the nicotine you inhale can disrupt various parts of your brain, making nicotine even more tempting. Understanding what does vaping do to your brain is crucial to grasping the full impact of this habit.

Nicotine impacts key brain functions, including:

  • Reward Processes: These guide behavior towards positive outcomes or away from negative ones.
  • Executive Function: Essential for controlling thoughts, actions, and emotions.

Nicotine triggers brain responses similar to those from other rewards like food and social connections. It can hijack brain mechanisms, making you more drawn to nicotine-related cues, such as vape logos or the shape of a vape device. Over time, these associations can lead to addiction, causing brain damage from vaping.

A study by Francesco Versace (2023) found that people respond differently to nicotine. Some have stronger reactions to nicotine-related cues, making it harder to resist. They may compulsively use nicotine when exposed to these cues and struggle more when trying to quit.

Nicotine addiction often coexists with mental health conditions like ADHD, anxiety disorders, and depression. Some use nicotine to cope with their symptoms, but withdrawal can worsen mental health issues.

The human brain continues to develop until the mid-20s. Nicotine disrupts brain circuits controlling attention, impulse control, mood, and reward sensitivity. Using nicotine while the brain is still developing can have lasting effects, making youth and young adults more susceptible to nicotine dependence, mental health problems, and other addictive substances.

For these reasons, it's crucial for youth and young adults to avoid nicotine, including vaping products. Protecting your brain's development and overall health is essential for a brighter future.

Vapes Regulations

E-cigarettes have stayed on the market for years without a thorough assessment of their public health impact, contributing to a troubling rise in youth use. As of November 2023, the FDA has not completed reviewing all applications from e-cigarette makers, leaving many products available while awaiting a decision. Although some flavored and menthol e-cigarette products like Vuse Solo, Vuse Vibe, Vuse Ciro, and Vuse Alto have been denied permission to market, many other flavored e-cigarette products are still under review. This delay in regulation heightens concerns about the dangers of vaping, particularly among young people.

To combat this issue, the FDA has ramped up enforcement actions against e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers. These actions include issuing warning letters, imposing fines, obtaining injunctions, and collaborating with federal officials to seize unauthorized e-cigarette imports.

State and local governments also play a vital role in regulating e-cigarettes, especially given the lack of strong federal regulations. As of March 31, 2023, seven states and approximately 388 counties, cities, towns, and tribes have restricted the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. However, a significant portion of the U.S. population remains without such restrictions.

While there is no federal excise tax on e-cigarettes, states have the authority to impose taxes on them. As of June 15, 2023, thirty-two states, the District of Columbia, and two territories have implemented taxes on e-cigarettes. Additionally, seventeen states, along with D.C. and Puerto Rico, have enacted comprehensive smoke-free indoor air laws that include e-cigarettes as of March 31, 2023. These laws prohibit smoking and e-cigarette use in indoor areas of private worksites, restaurants, and bars.

What Happens If You are Caught Vaping under 21

The repercussions of vaping under 21 vary depending on where you're caught. In the United States, federal law strictly prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals under 21 years old. However, the enforcement and penalties for underage vaping can vary between states and local jurisdictions.

For instance, in California, possessing a vaping device as a juvenile is not inherently illegal, but using the device in prohibited areas constitutes a crime. According to California Business & Professions Code § 22950.5(c), vaping is prohibited wherever smoking is banned. Various localities and communities across California enforce additional restrictions on e-cigarette use. Statewide regulations prohibit vaping in workplaces, hospitals, daycare facilities, food establishments, Farmers' Markets (within 25 feet), vehicles with minors present, public transportation, and school playgrounds.

It's crucial to note that the legal age for vaping in the US is 21 years old. Anyone caught vaping under this age, particularly in public spaces, may face legal consequences and penalties as determined by local laws and regulations.

Myths and Misconceptions About Vaping

Despite its popularity, vaping is surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. A significant question often arises: Does vaping alleviate anxiety or stress? Understanding the facts can help debunk these myths and provide a clearer picture of the potential risks and realities of vaping.

🚭Vaping is Harmless
While e-cigarettes may pose fewer risks than traditional cigarettes, they are not risk-free. Vaping still exposes users to nicotine, which can lead to addiction and harm brain development, especially in youth.
💡Vaping Helps Quit Smoking
While some people use vaping as a tool to quit smoking, it is not approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation aid. In fact, many individuals end up using both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, increasing their nicotine intake and health risks.
🔄Secondhand Vapor is Safe
Another misconception is that secondhand vapor from e-cigarettes doesn't have vaping side effects. However, studies have shown that secondhand vapor contains harmful chemicals and ultrafine particles that can negatively impact bystanders' health, especially in enclosed spaces.
👶E-cigarettes are Safe for Youth
Many young people believe that e-cigarettes are safe because they come in appealing flavors and are marketed as a trendy alternative to smoking. However, nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm brain development and increase the risk of addiction.
🔍All E-cigarettes Are the Same
Not all e-cigarettes are created equal. Different brands and types of devices vary in their nicotine content, chemical composition, and potential health effects. Some products may contain higher levels of nicotine or harmful chemicals than others.
👃Vaping is Odorless
While vaping may produce less odor than traditional cigarettes, it is not entirely odorless. The vapor from e-cigarettes can leave a lingering scent that others may find unpleasant.
⚖️Vaping Helps Weight Loss
Some people believe that vaping can aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite or replacing snacking habits. However, there is limited evidence to support this claim, and vaping poses numerous health risks unrelated to weight management.
💧Vaping is Just Water Vapor
Contrary to popular belief, the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is not just water vapor. It contains various chemicals, including nicotine, flavorings, and potentially harmful substances like formaldehyde and acrolein.

How to Quit Vaping

Quitting vaping can be challenging, but it's entirely possible with the right approach and support. Here are some effective steps to help you quit:

📅Set a Quit Date
Choose a specific date to quit vaping. This gives you a clear goal and time to prepare mentally and physically.
🎯Identify Your Triggers
Recognize the situations, emotions, or habits that make you want to vape. Common triggers include stress, social settings, and certain activities. Understanding your triggers can help you develop strategies to avoid or cope with them.
📝Create a Plan
Develop a detailed plan for how you will quit. This might include removing all vaping devices and supplies from your home, car, and workplace and deciding on coping strategies for cravings.
🤝Seek Support
Tell your friends, family, and coworkers about your decision to quit. Their support can provide motivation and encouragement. You might also consider joining a support group, either in person or online, where you can share experiences and advice with others who are also trying to quit.
💊Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT products, such as patches, gum, or lozenges, can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best option for you.
👃Use Behavioral Techniques
Engage in activities that keep your mind and body busy. Exercise, hobbies, and spending time with non-vaping friends can distract you from cravings and reduce the temptation to vape.
🛠️Use Available Resources
Take advantage of resources such as quitlines, mobile apps, and websites that offer tools, tips, and support for quitting vaping. Examples include the CDC's tips and resources for quitting smoking and vaping or the Smokefree.gov website.

As you keep track of your progress of being vape-free, this is how your health and well-being will possibly improve.

  • One of the benefits of quitting vaping is reducing the risk of lung inflammation and other respiratory issues. You'll likely experience easier breathing and better overall lung function.
  • Quitting can lead to improved concentration, memory, and mental clarity.
  • By quitting vaping, you'll reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions.
  • After quitting, you'll likely notice an improvement in these senses, making food and other experiences more enjoyable.
  • Quitting can save you a significant amount of money, which you can then use for other positive activities and goals.
  • Many people report feeling healthier, more energetic, and more in control of their lives after quitting vaping. This can lead to an overall improved sense of well-being and happiness.

Making Informed Choices

Understanding the risks and realities of vaping is crucial for making informed choices about your health. While vaping might seem like a safer alternative to smoking, it's not without its own significant dangers. From nicotine addiction and brain development issues to severe respiratory diseases and other health complications, the risks associated with vaping are substantial and well-documented. Being aware of these risks is the first step in making a decision that supports your long-term well-being.

Education and awareness are key to preventing the initiation and continuation of vaping, especially among young people. It's important to critically evaluate the marketing messages and social influences that glamorize even healthy vape alternatives. By staying informed and questioning the allure of e-cigarettes, individuals can resist the pressures to start vaping and can help others understand the potential consequences.

For those already using e-cigarettes, quitting is a vital step toward better health. There are numerous resources and support systems available to assist in this process, including professional help, behavioral strategies, and nicotine replacement therapies. It's never too late to make a positive change and improve your health outcomes.

Ultimately, making informed choices about vaping means weighing the immediate perceived benefits against the long-term health risks. By choosing to avoid or quit vaping, you are prioritizing your health and setting a positive example for others. Empower yourself with knowledge, seek support when needed, and take proactive steps to safeguard your health and well-being.

Frequently asked questions

How Dangerous is the Teen Vaping Epidemic?

What are 5 Interesting Vaping Statistics 2024?

How Long Does It Take for Your Lungs to Heal from Vaping?

What are the Biggest Vaping Side Effects?


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