NEWS Mental Health News Half of Teens Who Vape Would Like to Quit, Survey Shows By Elizabeth Millard Elizabeth Millard LinkedIn Elizabeth Millard is a freelance journalist specializing in health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition. Learn about our editorial process Updated on September 01, 2020 Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Andrea Rice Fact checked by Andrea Rice Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Andrea Rice is an award-winning journalist and a freelance writer, editor, and fact-checker specializing in health and wellness. Learn about our editorial process Share Tweet Email Print Key Takeaways About 25% of U.S. high school students vape regularly, and nearly 12% are daily users, a recent survey finds.Half of those who vape would like to quit, but cessation programs are not widely available or offer evidence-based approaches, researchers added.Teens face much more peer pressure with vaping than adults, making it harder to give up the social status that can come with vaping. About a quarter of high school students in the United States reported using electronic nicotine products in 2019 and nearly 12% use them daily, but half of those teens who vape would like to quit, according to a new report that was published in August in JAMA Pediatrics. Teens who vape are at higher risk of nicotine addiction, transitioning to cigarettes, and exposure to toxins, according to the recent analysis. But evidence-based vaping cessation programs geared specifically to adolescents are not widely available, the researchers noted, despite how critical these programs could be to curbing e-cig use. If the vaping epidemic continues its upward trajectory, this could become an even bigger problem going forward. The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that e-cigarette use among teens increased substantially from 2017 to 2018 (whether this trend continued into 2019 is not yet known). And according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), middle school students increased their e-cigarette use by 48% during that time frame, while high school students saw an increase of 78%. Biggest Risk: Peer Pressure Adolescents and adults have may face similar hurdles when it comes to wanting to quit e-cig use and being unable to stop, such as using vaping for stress relief, experiencing physical and mental addiction, and potentially lacking access to evidence-based cessation programs. However, many teens are subjected to peer pressure, which can be a formidable roadblock for quitting, says Osita Onugha, MD, thoracic surgeon and assistant professor of thoracic surgical oncology at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Osita Onugha, MD The chemical addiction is what stimulates the cravings, but the 'coolness' of smoking around friends and being perceived as a 'rebel' make it difficult to give up the social status that some young adults have with their peers. — Osita Onugha, MD "There is a level of social addiction, and that needs to be addressed when talking about prevention," he says. "The chemical addiction is what stimulates the cravings, but the 'coolness' of smoking around friends and being perceived as a 'rebel' make it difficult to give up the social status that some young adults have with their peers." 5 Truths About Vape Pens Perception, Marketing, and Concealment Of course, being negatively influenced by a peer group is not a new phenomenon with vaping. Peer pressure and teen smoking have been linked for decades, and a 2017 meta-analysis about tobacco use found that young people aged 10 to 19 have double the risk of smoking if they have friends who use tobacco products. The analysis included data from 16 countries, highlighting that this is a widespread, global issue. What is distinctive with vaping, though, is the belief that it's not as harmful as smoking cigarettes, or even that it's not addictive, says Leah Guttman, PsyD, New York City-based clinical psychologist, and founder of Washington Square Therapy, which specializes in emotional well-being for young adults. Despite evidence to the contrary, some teens think that e-cigarettes don't contain nicotine, or that the amount is low enough that they won't have any negative effects, especially if they're not daily users. But a 2014 study noted that nicotine in any form is a neurotoxin in the developing adolescent brain. Guttman adds that e-cig and vaping manufacturers do little to counteract these beliefs. "The way vaping is marketed, with formulated flavorings like mango and buttered popcorn, appeals to younger users," she says. "Ease of access and concealment may also contribute to use. And the biological pathways that lead to addiction, and the social reinforcement factors, are the same as any other tobacco product." Leah Guttman, PsyD Ease of access and concealment may also contribute to use. And the biological pathways that lead to addiction, and the social reinforcement factors, are the same as any other tobacco product. — Leah Guttman, PsyD Added to all this is the challenge with treatment access, as well as potential medication issues, adds Aaron Weiner, PhD, a Chicago-based clinical psychologist and addiction treatment specialist. "Some of the medications available for treatment of nicotine addiction are not available for adolescents, which can make the hill that much steeper to climb," he says. Steps Forward Like tobacco, the move toward effective cessation will require a multilayered approach that addresses all of the factors that teens face, and also builds much more awareness about the actual risks of electronic cigarettes—not an easy task, since the products are still too new for data about long-term effects. Also like tobacco, this could require decades to change. "Vaping has become a cultural issue for this generation of adolescents, and unraveling it will likely take the same sort of persistence and effort that we've seen for cigarettes over the past 30 years," says Weiner. What This Means for You Vaping is a problematic habit, but if you are a smoker you should feel comfortable discussing your habit with a parent or mentor. The same goes for parents, if your child smokes you shouldn't make them feel guilty about it. If you have an expressed desire to quit vaping, there are many proven methods and avenues for kicking the habit. Consider asking your primary care physician for strategies on how to proceed. How to Deal With Stress While You Quit Smoking 9 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Smith TT, Nahhas GJ, Carpenter MJ, et al. Intention to Quit Vaping Among United States Adolescents. JAMA Pediatr. 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.2348 Cullen KA, Gentzke AS, Sawdey MD, et al. e-Cigarette Use Among Youth in the United States, 2019. JAMA. 2019;322(21):2095–2103. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.18387 Cullen KA, Ambrose BK, Gentzke AS, Apelberg BJ, Jamal A, King BA. Notes from the Field: Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Any Tobacco Product Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67:1276-1277. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6745a5 Jankowski M, Krzystanek M, Zejda JE, et al. E-Cigarettes are More Addictive than Traditional Cigarettes-A Study in Highly Educated Young People. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(13). doi:10.3390/ijerph16132279 Wallace AM, Foronjy RE. Electronic cigarettes: not evidence-based cessation. Transl Lung Cancer Res. 2019;8(Suppl 1):S7-S10. doi:10.21037/tlcr.2019.03.08 Liu J, Zhao S, Chen X, Falk E, Albarracín D. The influence of peer behavior as a function of social and cultural closeness: A meta-analysis of normative influence on adolescent smoking initiation and continuation. Psychol Bull. 2017;143(10):1082-1115. doi:10.1037/bul0000113 Lydon DM, Wilson SJ, Child A, Geier CF. Adolescent brain maturation and smoking: what we know and where we're headed. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014;45:323-42. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.07.003 UCLA Health. Immediate health concerns about vaping are real but long-term effects are not yet fully understood. 2020. Lepore SJ, Collins BN, Coffman DL, et al. Kids Safe and Smokefree (KiSS) Multilevel Intervention to Reduce Child Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Long-Term Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(6). doi:10.3390/ijerph15061239 By Elizabeth Millard Elizabeth Millard is a freelance journalist specializing in health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist Online Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.