Results from the 2019 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey show an increase in the number of Maine high school students who reported using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping.

The survey found that Maine students who reported ever having tried vaping increased to 45 percent for high school students and 16.3 percent for middle-schoolers, from 33.2 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively, in 2017.

Regular vaping also increased. In the survey results, 28.7 percent of Maine high school students and 7 percent of middle school students said they had vaped at least once in the past 30 days, up from 15.3 percent and 3.8 percent in 2017. 

Maine’s 2019 high school results align with the most recent data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which found similar increases throughout the U.S.

However, the proportion of of high school students using conventional cigarettes has dropped to 7.1 percent, from 8.8 percent in 2017.

In a news release, Nirav D. Shah, director of Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “Young people in Maine are getting the message that tobacco use is dangerous. But they need to realize that vaping also poses great risks to their health.”

Maine CDC has worked with the state Office of the Attorney General for increased compliance checks on e-cigarette purchases at retailers throughout Maine to prevent sales to youth. Maine already bans all online sales of e-cigarette products and licenses tobacco-product sellers to ensure oversight.

A September 2019 law banned e-cigarette use on school property. Maine CDC and Department of Education continue to work with partners across the state to help prevent young people from being exposed to e-cigarettes and starting to use them. A work group has met regularly to create educational resources and presentations to increase awareness.

For more information about the survey, visit data.mainepublichealth.gov/miyhs.