Underage & Young Adult Vaping Declined During Pandemic – But Not for the Reasons You'd Think

Although we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, it was certainly the ongoing event that defined much of 2020 throughout the world. As an incredibly infectious and serious respiratory illness, many people did everything they could to avoid the coronavirus that caused it. They also sought ways they could decrease their likelihood of severe complications – including death – should they become infected.

Lots of people ate better, exercised more, drank less alcohol, and – especially – attempted to quit smoking and vaping. Quitting tobacco smoking has a rather clear benefit when there’s a highly infectious disease on the loose. The benefit of quitting e-cigarette use, though, might not have been so clear had lung disease linked to vaping products not been such a focal point of study during 2019 and early 2020.

There has always been concern about young adults, and especially underage children, using vaping devices. A study published by the JAMA Network Open in December 2020, however, showed that even these age demographics were curbing their e-cigarette use during the pandemic.

Conducted by researchers from Stanford University, the study surveyed 4,351 people between the ages of 13 and 24 during the second week of May 2020. About a third of the survey’s respondents reported that they quit e-cigarette since the pandemic began, and another 35 percent said they had reduced their use of such products.

While these statistics would seem encouraging to those who want to see e-cigarette use curbed among people in this age group, it turns out young adults and youths may not have been so concerned about how vaping could complicate COVID-19 symptoms. The reason for the decline, the researchers found, was likely because it was simply harder to access e-cigarette products during the pandemic.

“In this study, sheltering-in-place policies that may have limited access to retail store purchases may have helped facilitate quitting or reduced use among both underage youth and young adults,” the researchers wrote in the study’s discussion section. “Self-reported reducing and quitting behaviors among some e-cigarette users during the pandemic are positive, especially given emerging evidence that COVID-19 may be associated with inhaled tobacco use, potentially due to a weakened respiratory system and compromised immune system.”

So, there it is. While the study isn’t conclusive, it’s certainly conceivable that teens and young adults cut down on e-cigarettes during the pandemic because it was harder to get devices and vape juice. While there will be a time when COVID-19 complications caused by vaping won’t be as concerning, the risk of e-cig lung injuries will persist all the while.

Injured E-Cigs? We Can Help.

At The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC, we can represent clients who were injured as a result of e-cigarette companies’ negligence. If you believe a vaping product caused you personal injury when it shouldn’t have, we can help you hold these companies accountable for pushing out defective and dangerous products.

For more information about our legal services, please get in touch with us online or by calling (956) 606-3606.

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