Monday, March 28, 2022

Home Schooling Suppresses High School Vaping & Smoking


Following my blog post last week about the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), there was a lot of discussion among colleagues about the fact that roughly half of the students responded to the survey from home due to the Covid pandemic, while the other half filled it out at school.  According to the CDC (here), “Youths who reported participating in the 2021 NYTS in a school building or classroom reported a higher prevalence of e-cigarette use compared with youths participating at home or at some other place.”  That makes sense.  Teens restricted to their homes were probably not using any drugs as frequently as teens at school.  The bottom line is that this change in survey location during 2021 might have affected prevalence estimates.

Note that while the first two columns in the chart are identical to those in last week’s chart, the last two columns underscore the importance of where the survey was completed.  Students who took the survey at school reported prevalence rates for smoking, vaping and dual use that were twice those for students who responded from home.

There is still good news here.  Even the higher smoking and vaping rates among school survey takers are lower than the rates in 2020, so the decline in both behaviors is real.

In all seriousness, I want to add this cautionary note.  Given that there is no limit to the legislation, regulation and litigation that anti-tobacco zealots will employ, I would not be surprised to see Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids, Truth Initiative and others start lobbying for all American teens to be home-schooled in the months ahead.


No comments: