Are Schools Doing Enough To Curb E-cigarette Use for Hispanic Youth? “No”, says Yockey

July 13, 2023 • News

E CigIn recent years, the rising trend of e-cigarette use among young people has become a matter of significant concern for public health officials. Among the various communities affected, Hispanic youth have emerged as a group particularly vulnerable to the allure of these devices. This growing concern has prompted intensified efforts to address the issue and safeguard the well-being of Hispanic adolescents.

According to recent studies conducted by health organizations and academic institutions, e-cigarette use has experienced a significant increase among Hispanic youth over the past few years. These findings are alarming, considering the potential health risks associated with vaping and the long-term consequences it may have on this demographic’s well-being.

A new study published in the Journal of School Nursing by Dr. Andrew Yockey of the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, along with colleagues from the University of Cincinnati, examined school factors associated with e-cigarette use among Hispanic youth, and found that 13.8% of Hispanic youth reported past-30-day e-cigarette use. He found that youth who reported poor grades was a significant risk factor for increased use.

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“The school is a place where lots of risk behaviors can happen, so more effective interventions are needed to decrease substance use, especially among Hispanic youth”, says Yockey.

In Texas, an individual must be at least 21 years old to legally buy or own tobacco products, including e-cigarettes or vape devices. Yockey says we need to figure out where youth are getting these devices and create prevention messaging. “E-cigarette use is still a problem and we need effective services to treat use among youth, given the negative consequences associated with e-cigarette use including dependence and increased lung problems.”