(May 28, 2019) -- UTSA criminal justice professor Dylan Jackson recently published one of the first studies to explore emerging drug use in the form of adolescent vaping and its association with delinquency among 8th and 10th grade students across the nation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 4.9 million middle and high school students used some type of tobacco product in 2018, up from 3.6 million in 2017. Moreover, the percentage of high school-aged children who report using e-cigarettes increased by more than 75 percent between 2017 and 2018.
New legislation is targeting this dangerous trend. Earlier this year, the FDA introduced new policies to prevent adolescents from accessing flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Tim Kaine have also introduced a bipartisan bill to raise the federal smoking age to 21. The proposed bill includes the use of e-cigarettes, citing it as an “epidemic” among adolescents that has been largely overlooked.
Using a nationally representative sample of 8th and 10th graders in 2017, Jackson found that adolescents who vape are at an elevated risk of engaging in criminal activities such as violence and property theft. He also found that teens who vape marijuana are at a significantly higher risk of violent and property offenses than youth who ingest marijuana through traditional means.
He believes that these findings might be explained by the ability to conceal an illegal substance through the mechanism of vaping, which can reduce the likelihood of detection and apprehension among youth who vape illicit substances and thereby embolden them to engage other delinquent behaviors.
Ultimately, he argues that youth who vape illicit substances such as marijuana may easily go unnoticed and/or unchallenged due to the ambiguity surrounding the substance they are vaping and the ease of concealability of vaping devices, which can look like a flash drive.
These behaviors include four categories of delinquency:
Jackson also discussed other factors related to vaping, such as youth perceptions of media messaging by product manufacturers that vaping is acceptable because it is a “healthier” option than traditional forms of smoking nicotine or marijuana.
“Our hope is that this research will lead to the recognition among policymakers, practitioners, and parents that the growing trend of adolescent vaping is not simply “unhealthy” – or worse, an innocuous pastime – but that it may in fact be a red flag or an early marker of risk pertaining to violence, property offending, and other acts of misconduct.”
Learn more about Dylan Jackson.
Celebrate UTSA’s 50th Anniversary and share social media posts about the 50th using the hashtag #UTSA50.
Roadrunner Days events welcome UTSA's newest students and helps our returning Roadrunners learn strategies for success in the new year.Various locations, Main and Downtown campuses
This exhibition, curated by Libby Rowe and Scott Sherer, presents the work of women artists who are compelled by their commitments to investigating and transforming social and cultural legacies and contexts.UTSA Art Gallery (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
UTSA will further honor King with the university's annual MLK Day of Service. Roadrunners are encouraged to participate in the service day, located in various locations, including helping to beautify campus.Various locations, Main Campus
Celebrating the Year of the Rat, the 33rd annual Asian Festival will feature a wide spectrum of Asian cultures with family-friendly events and performances. Enjoy authentic Asian foods with a menu including Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Pakistani, Chinese and Filipino cuisines. Vendors will sell clothing, artwork, dolls, silk items, jewelry and other exotic gifts.Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., San Antonio
Peniel E. Joseph, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at UT Austin, will discuss his book “The Sword and The Shield,” which focuses on the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
The Heart Walk will be held at all three campus locations starting at the same time. Support Go Red for Women Day by wearing red.All UTSA campuses
Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in an interactive discussion on how U.S. foreign policy affects the trajectory of global affairs, your community’s well-being, and your daily life. Admission is free. Register to attend.Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
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