2018 Healthy Youth Survey: Vaping among teens dramatically rising

School administrators, counselors, and health care professionals are encouraged to visit a new website that contains valuable information and tools to help open conversations with teens about the effects of vaping.

The new resource repository comes at a time when teen vaping is rapidly rising, as revealed in recent results from the Healthy Youth Survey, administered to teens across the state every two years.  The number of 10th graders in Clark County who reported vaping in the past 30 days increased from 11.2 percent in 2016 to 21.4 percent in 2018. Of those who reported using e-cigarettes or vape pens, the number using nicotine dramatically increased from 4.9 percent in 2016 to 15.4 percent in 2018. The voluntary survey asks teenagers about substance use, physical health, mental illness and school climate. Public health experts examine the data and break it down to the county level.

The informational website is part of a major statewide campaign, administered by the Washington Department of Health’s (DOH) Tobacco Prevention program. DOH contracted with Educational Service District 112 to create vaping prevention tools, intended to reach nearly 3,000 school buildings across the state.

In addition to the launch of the website, a bulk mailing will contain a large poster with facts about vaping and a letter from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal and Secretary of Health John Weisman, encouraging school district leaders and professionals to visit the website for additional resources.

ESD 112 Director of Prevention and Youth Services Deb Drandoff praised the efforts of communication and prevention staff for their collaborative work on the website. “It’s getting rave reviews from our partners across the state,” she said. Laura Martin, graphic and web designer and Matt Cox, community prevention project specialist, worked together to design, build and populate the site. In the coming months, staff will be tracking website traffic and listening for feedback from educators about their experiences and increased knowledge found on the site.

To see the site, visit https://www.youthnow.me/schools/.

About the Healthy Youth Survey

The Healthy Youth Survey findings are available at https://www.askhys.net/. The survey is a collaborative effort of Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Department of Health, Department of Social and Health Service’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The goal of sharing Healthy Youth Survey data is to empower local groups to use the statistics when writing grants and in shaping interventions that address real issues—not just what people assume to be true.

For more information on Prevent Coalition, and what you can do to help reduce youth substance use in Clark County, please visit https://www.preventcoalition.org/.