*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.
A new study finds that children who have clear goals for their future and supportive parents are much less likely to try either vaping or traditional tobacco products.
“The use of e-cigarettes by young people is at epidemic proportions, with 27% of youth surveyed saying they’d vaped in the last 30 days,” says lead author Nicholas Szoko, M.D., a fellow in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, in a media release.
“And a lot of the traditional methods we think of for counseling youth on the dangers of tobacco and drug use may not apply to vaping. Pediatricians and parents need a better understanding of what motivates adolescents to eschew e-cigarettes.”
Szoko and his team surveyed nearly 2,500 high school students in the Pittsburgh public school system during their study. Researchers looked at how often these youngsters use e-cigarettes or smoke regular tobacco products and if one of four “protective factors” play a role in their decision to vape or smoke.
Those protective factors include:
- Future orientation: A person’s beliefs, hopes, and goals for the future
- Parental monitoring: The relationship and communication between parents and children
- Social support: The ability to rely on friends and peers
- School connectedness: The sense of belonging and inclusion at school
The results show that both future orientation and parental monitoring contribute to a 10-25 percent drop in the likelihood children start vaping. Social support or school connectedness did not show any link to young students deciding to use e-cigarettes.
Unlike vaping, all four factors contributed to fewer students using tobacco products.
The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics.