Despite headlines about the dangers of vaping being splashed across the internet, social media and TV, there is still a cloud of misinformation circulating amongst young people, who are at greatest risk for long-term addiction and vaping-related illness.
See if any of these sound familiar: “Second-hand vapor is harmless” or “Only people who vape cannabis are at risk of vaping-related illnesses.” According to a new survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians, those are just some of the myths young people believe about vaping.
Commissioned by the American Academy of Family Physicians, this new survey of tobacco vape users between the ages of 16-30 years old is shedding an important light on the vaping disconnects and what many say is their real motivation:
- 65% of respondents who are aware of recent news regarding vaping-related deaths and illnesses say they’re paying attention, BUT nearly 9 in 10 get the facts wrong and more than 4 in 5 underestimate the extent of recent outbreaks
- While some e-cigarette producers claim most people vape to quit smoking tobacco, only 50% of former tobacco smokers surveyed say that’s true
- In fact, for youth, vaping is often more of a social activity than a means to quit tobacco: teens and young adults ages 16-23 say they vape to socialize (30%) and more than one in five vapers ages 16-23 (21%) vape in order to fit in.
- And while vaping may be on the rise, many young people still feel shame: 64% of vapers prefer their family or friends not to see them vape.
Bottom line, young people are not getting the full story. Dr. Jay W. Lee, a family physician, breaks down vaping facts from fiction to make sure we all understand the consequences.
“There are three myths out there about vaping. One: vaping is safer than other forms of smoking. Vaping does contain nicotine and other unnamed ingredients. Second: second hand ‘vaper’ is harmless. It is very harmful and third and finally, recent vaping recent illnesses have affected cannabis users,” said Dr. Lee.
“The perception is that vaping can help you relax,” said Dr. Lee. “It is often social pressures for the reasons why people start to vape. Three in five people said that they hide their vaping habits.”