U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently gave a grim warning on the overall mental health of today's young people. As part of the warning, Murthy talked about the role the COVID-19 pandemic has played in accelerating the already-existing mental health struggles of people ages 10-24. In addition to the pandemic, Murthy also referenced gun violence, climate change, social conflicts, and online bullying as contributing factors to the growing anxiety amongst young people.
While some teens may turn to vaping to ease their stress, e-cigarettes have actually been shown to harm mental health in key ways. Individuals who vape are more than twice as likely as those who've never vaped to be diagnosed with depression. In addition, a 2017 study found that ninth graders who vaped more frequently were more likely to experience higher depressive symptoms. Another 2019 study, this time of college students, found that e-cigarette use was associated with higher rates of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and that nicotine addiction corresponded with increased anxiety symptoms.