Klein J, et al. 611 – COVID-19 pandemic and e-cigarette use by inner city youth. Presented at: American Thoracic Society International Conference; May 13-18, 2022; San Francisco (hybrid meeting).
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SAN FRANCISCO — A study of high school students in North Philadelphia has highlighted the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s vaping patterns and their motivation to quit, researchers reported during of the American Thoracic Society International Conference.
The National Youth Smoking Survey reported a decrease in current e-cigarette use among high school students from 2019 to 2020 (27.5% vs. 19.6%) due to federal and state policies tobacco control and educational initiatives in schools.
Jeremi A. Klein, a fourth year medical student at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine and colleagues analyzed a sample of 653 high school students from a large public high school in North Philadelphia to assess the impact of remote learning and the COVID pandemic -19 on youth vaping habits. All students completed a voluntary and anonymous online cross-sectional survey from October to November 2020.
More than 68% of students feared contracting SARS-CoV-2 infection and 83.9% said they always wear a mask in public. Overall, 86% of college students who have ever used said the COVID-19 pandemic either increased or failed to change motivation to quit vaping. However, 72% of users considered quitting vaping and 56.7% actively attempted to quit vaping.
Among users, 46.2% said they vaped the same amount or more than before the COVID-19 pandemic and 6.45% of students said they started vaping during COVID-19.
According to the researchers, federal and state tobacco control policies and school-based educational interventions will not prevent young people from vaping alone, and it is imperative to have supportive relationships at home as well as access. remotely to education and smoking cessation resources.
In the summary, the researchers noted that future efforts should focus on expanding and refining distance and home-based tobacco dependence and smoking cessation education resources.