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November Activity: Youth Vaping Survey Project

Based on data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), Massachusetts has one of the lowest youth smoking rates, and yet highest youth vaping rates in the country. In 2017, 20% of high school youth reported using a vape product in the past 30 days, and one in 10 middle school youth reported ever trying a vape product. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Surgeon General, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all declared vaping an epidemic.  

The Governor recently placed a temporary ban on all vaping products, and we need YOUR help to find out what impact that has had on youth use of these products and how we can support youth during this time.  

THE PROBLEM  

While the YRBS is a useful source of data on the health of youth in Massachusetts, it is only administered once every two years. At the same time, the tobacco and vaping industries are constantly evolving and creating new products to attract new users to a lifetime of nicotine addiction. For example, the 2017 YRBS data was collected before the emergence and popularity of JUUL 

So, we need some more current information to better understand the use and impact of vape products among youth. In light of the recent emergence of vaping-related lung illnesses, and the governor’s declaration of vaping as a public health emergency, it is now critically important to collect data on vaping among Massachusetts youth.   

WHAT WE’RE ASKING 

We’re asking Chapters to do a survey on vaping in their high schools and middle schools across MA. The survey will take 15 minutes to answer and will be provided to your Chapter. The survey can be administered on paper or online (or a combination of both).  

The goals of this survey are: 

  1. To better understand youth vaping behaviors: how often youth are vaping, where youth are vaping, why youth are vaping, whether youth are addicted to vaping/nicotine 
  2. To understand if youth are interested in quitting vape products, and if so, what resources they are using or need 
  3. To understand the impact of the governor’s temporary ban on the sales of all vape products on youth vaping and related behaviors 

The point of the survey is to get as many youth in all grades at your school to take it, and we suggest that it be done during English classes or homeroom to avoid duplicate answers. Don’t worry – we’ll provide you with everything you need to actually get this done, and one of our staff will schedule a call with you to go over it all.  

Due to the current public health emergency, we ask that all surveys be completed as soon as possible, and no later than Friday, December 6th.  

HOW TO GET STARTED 

  1. Email dadams@hria.org to let us know you want to do the project by Wednesday, November 13th 
  2. We’ll confirm your participation and send you instructions about how to create a sample of your school population and gather responses, and schedule a call with you to help create a plan.  
  3. We’ll send your Chapter a $500 check for completing the survey! We encourage the funding to be given to the youth who worked on the project and getting it organized.  
  4. Once you return the results to The 84, we’ll analyze the data for you and get you the results back as fast as we can.  Your school’s results will not be shared publicly. 
  5. Along with your survey results, we’ll provide recommendations for how your results can be used to inform programmatic or policy decisions at your school.