By Fiona Hernandez | December 8, 2021
Vaping has decreased significantly among teens in 2020. In a podcast episode of the Capitol Pressroom, the host David Lombardo speaks with people who work in the Department of Health about reasons why youth vaping is declining.
In the episode, “Youth smoking hits all-time low level in New York,” Sara Phelps, Assistant Director of Tobacco’s Data Control, and Haven Battles, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Chronic Disease Evaluation and Research discuss what some of the factors might be.
Battles found from her research that “especially high school teens are seeing a decrease in smoking.”
The University at Albany became a tobacco and smoke free-campus back in January of 2020 and the rate of UAlbany students using tobacco products has also decreased. “Based on the UAlbany Comprehensive Well-being Survey administered to students in September and October 2021, results indicate that: 81% of students have never used e-cigarettes or other vape products and 7% of students have used e-cigarettes or other vape products, but not in the past 30 days,” said Kelsey Butz, Communications Specialist.
The Department of Health stated that the legislation being brought from smoking has allowed them to understand that smoking is dangerous. “In New York state and nationally we have the T-21 law where the minimum age of purchase was raised to 21 years of age,” Battles said. “Also in 2019, there was a 20% sales tax added to vapor products in New York state. And in 2020, the FDA instituted a ban on flavored e-cigarette products.” These are factors that Battles claims are the reasons why the usage of vaping products has reduced.
“As for the percentage of students using tobacco products (cigarettes, smokeless or chewing tobacco or cigars), 85% of UAlbany students do not use these products, and an additional 8% have not used in the past month,” Butz said. “This is an improvement compared to the data we collected before the 100% tobacco-and-smoke-free policy was instituted on campus.”