Most NJ adults are aware of the dangers of vaping, don’t want their kids to start

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Malcolm Garret photo (Pixels)
Urban News Staff Reports

Two-thirds of adults still think vaping is a safe activity for them to be involved with — despite being aware of the health risks — but that sentiment changes when it comes to their kids, according to a recent Department of Health poll.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents are clearly aware of the potential health dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes. Sixty-three percent of respondents smoke, whether it be traditional cigarettes or vapes/e-cigarettes, and 60 percent of respondents responded that vaping/e-cigarettes are safe for adults.

Some 84 percent of parents polled said they had discussed the dangers with their kids but acknowledged that one in 10 of their children vape or use e-cigarettes anyway.

“The results demonstrate that we must work even harder to reinforce the message that e-cigarettes and illegal THC vaping products pose a threat to public health and can lead to addiction,” said New Jersey Department of Health Acting Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “The responses to the poll are troubling to us, as health professionals, in that parents’ more permissive and supporting views on vaping can present a troubling hypocrisy to their children, and all children by extension.”

Vaping has more than doubled since 2017 among eighth, 10th, and 12th graders, according to a study released earlier this month by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More than 3.6 million youth used e-cigarettes in 2018, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, a 78 percent increase from the previous year among high school students and a 48 percent increase in use among middle schoolers.
The 10-question poll of 725 adults was conducted via the Internet, on Facebook and NJ.com, from October 1-17.

In terms of governmental regulation, a surprising 65 percent do not support government regulation on vapes and e-cigarettes, with 24 percent supporting government regulation. 

The Department funded a variety of nonprofit groups and hospitals this year with $7 million for cessation and education efforts — including New Jersey Quitline and $1.9 million for Quitcenters — including youth education and public awareness campaigns.  

The poll’s other findings included that 63 percent of respondents who smoke, the great majority, 96 percent of them use vapes/e-cigarettes. Additionally, most respondents felt they know that their children do not smoke or utilize vapes/e-cigarettes.

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