THURSDAY, May 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of adolescent vaping is 8.6 percent in 47 lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countries, and the prevalence of frequent vaping is 1.7 percent, according to a study published online May 11 in Addiction.

Gary C.K. Chan, Ph.D., from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues examined the prevalence of adolescent vaping in 47 lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countries and investigated the association between implementation of World Health Organization (WHO) tobacco control policies with adolescent electronic cigarette use (vaping) in 44 countries. Data were obtained for 151,960 adolescents who participated in the WHO Global Youth Tobacco Survey between 2015 and 2018.

The researchers found that the overall weighted prevalence of past 30-day adolescent vaping was 8.6 percent and prevalence of past month frequent vaping was 1.7 percent. Due to the large variation of effects across countries, for five of the WHO’s policies (monitoring, smoke-free environment, cessation programs, health warning, and advertising bans), their association with adolescent vaping was inconclusive. There was an association seen for higher tax on combustible tobacco products with higher adolescent vaping (≥75 percent versus <25 percent tax: odds ratio, 2.58).

“Prevalence rates of frequent vaping among young people are low globally,” Chan said in a statement. “However, we need to have comprehensive policies, such as strict enforcement of age restrictions, taxation, limiting nicotine concentrations, and advertising bans, to prevent uptake among young people.”

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