Teenagers Keep Vaping Despite Crackdowns on E-Cigarettes 美嚴管電子煙 仍難阻青少年接觸成癮
High school students resumed taking the annual National Youth Tobacco Survey in school this year and 14% of them reported using e-cigarettes, underscoring how an upstart industry is dodging regulators' efforts to spare a generation from nicotine addiction.
The number shows a slight change from 11% last year, but researchers cautioned against drawing comparisons to 2021's survey, which was conducted differently because it took place when many schools were closed during the pandemic. The latest results were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.
Although the age-old force of peer pressure may still be encouraging use, the percentage of high school students who reported vaping in the past 30 days was still far lower than record-high levels reached in 2019 of nearly 28%.
Overall, the survey found that 2.5 million middle and high school students, or about 9%, used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. That puts their overall rate of use several times higher than that of adults, which is estimated at about 3%.
The survey, which was conducted from January through May of this year, showed that 85% of adolescent e-cigarette users favored vapes in fruit, dessert and candy flavors. Some mentioned PuffBar, Vuse and Juul as their favorite brand among those on the survey's list.
But many said their favored e-cigarette brand was not one of the 13 listed. That finding highlights how nimble the industry has been in stamping an array of brand names on vapes with flavors like strawberry ice cream and fresh vanilla that are largely made in China and shipped from warehouses to corner stores and into e-commerce.
One stark finding was that 1 in 4 of the high school students who were e-cigarette users reported vaping every day. Groups opposed to e-cigarettes and tobacco products were particularly troubled by one other result that reflected the highest frequency-of-use to date: Nearly half of the high school students who were vaping said they were doing so 20 to 30 days a month.
"That's a real signal of addiction and setting up young people for a lifetime of addiction which they don't want, they didn't choose and they don't like," said Robin Koval, president of the Truth Initiative, a nonprofit organization aimed at eliminating youth tobacco use.
The full results of the survey, which will include levels of other tobacco product use, is expected out later this year.
Nuclear Talk Revives Tone of Cold War 普亭核威脅在美引發愈來愈大的恐慌
文/David E. Sanger, Anton Troia
For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, top government leaders in Moscow are making explicit nuclear threats and officials in Washington are gaming out scenarios should President Vladimir Putin decide to use a tactical nuclear weapon to make up for the failings of Russian troops in Ukraine.
In a speech Friday, Putin raised the prospect anew, calling the United States and NATO enemies seeking Russia's collapse and declaring again that he would use "all available means" to defend Russian territory — which he has now declared includes four provinces of eastern Ukraine.
Putin reminded the world of President Harry S. Truman's decision to drop atomic weapons on Japan 77 years ago, adding, "By the way, they created a precedent."
Senior U.S. officials say they think the chances that Putin would employ a nuclear weapon remain low. They say they have seen no evidence that he is moving any of his nuclear assets, and a recent Pentagon analysis suggests the military benefits would be few. And the cost for Putin — in a furious international response — could be tremendous.
But they are far more worried about the possibility now than they were at the beginning of the Ukraine conflict in February. After a series of humiliating retreats, astoundingly high casualty rates and a deeply unpopular move to draft young Russian men into service, Putin clearly sees the threat of his nuclear arsenal as a way to instill fear, and perhaps to recover some respect for Russia's power.
Most important, he may see the threat of unleashing part of his stockpile of so-called tactical nuclear weapons as a way to extort concessions that he has been unable to win on the battlefield.
Last weekend, President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said any nuclear weapon use would result in "catastrophic consequences" for Russia, adding that in private communications with Moscow, the United States had "spelled out" how America and the world would react.
In background conversations, a range of officials suggested that if Russia detonated a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukrainian soil, the options included unplugging Russia from the world economy or some kind of military response — although one that would most likely be delivered by the Ukrainians with Western-provided, conventional weapons.