Hopedale student health survey: more using electronic cigarettes – Milford Daily News

By Christopher Gavin Daily News Staff

HOPEDALE – More local high school students reported using electronic cigarettes than those who did two years ago, even as tobacco cigarette use among teenagers continues to decrease, a new survey indicates.

School officials say the latest results of the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey show 25.7 percent of Hopedale students in grades nine through 12 said they used an electronic cigarette in the last 30 days when surveyed last year.

The number is notably larger than the 12 percent of students who reported using the water vapor devices in 2014, the year the survey began tracking that information.

In a survey results report submitted to the School Committee by school guidance counselor Sharyn Mulvaney, as well as school adjustment counselor Angela Scanlon and health and wellness teacher Brian Kiesman, officials said easier access to electronic smoking devices may be the reason behind the jump.

The increase, however, contrasts with a decade-long trend of more students saying ‘No’ to traditional cigarettes.

In 2006, 18.7 percent of ninth through 12th grade students surveyed said they smoked a cigarette within the past 30 days.

Last year, that demographic dwindled to 8.2 percent, according to survey results.

Superintendent Karen Crebase said Wednesday educators credit their efforts to teach students about the harmful effects of tobacco as the reason for the decline, though the survey suggests some may not have that same awareness about electronic cigarettes.

“If we can do as good a job as we did with smoking, hopefully we’ll start to see those numbers decrease,” she said.

For middle school students, it seems that message is starting to sink in.

Electronic cigarette usage among seventh and eighth grade students dropped from 7.9 percent in 2014 to three percent in 2016, according to the report.

The number of students who

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