Brief Report - Journal of Child and Adolescent Health (2021) Volume 5, Issue 2
COVID-19 Pandemic And Inner-City Youth E- Cigarette Use
Purpose: To understand the impact of COVID-19 and remote learning on youth vaping patterns at a Philadelphia public high school.
Methods: A sample of 653 students (grades 9-12) completed a voluntary and anonymous online cross- sectional survey from October 30, 2020 to November 22, 2020.
Results: This study focused on 93 e-cigarette ever-users among 653 respondents. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased or not changed motivation to quit vaping in 86.0% (n=80) of ever-users. Seventy- two percent (n=67) of ever-users have contemplated quitting, with 56.7% (n=38) actively attempting cessation. Forty-six percent (n=43) of ever-users report vaping the same amount or more than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 6.45% (n=6) started vaping during the pandemic.
Conclusion: Nearly half of ever-users reported vaping the same amount or more than prior to COVID-19. Few students started vaping during the pandemic. Federal and state-enforced tobacco-free policies and school-based interventions cannot alone curtail youth vaping, especially during a pandemic. Investment in supportive relationships between adolescents and caregivers at home, as well as evidenced-based cessation resources are essential to curb the youth vaping epidemic.
Implications and Contribution: To our knowledge, this is the first study to address the sustained impact of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on youth vaping practices. Author(s): Jeremy Klein