STIs v. Vaping

The Associated Press headline on Sept. 19th, 2019 read: US vaping illnesses top 500, Missouri man is 8th death.

The USA Today headline on June 6, 2019 read: 'A wake-up call': 1 million new sexually transmitted infections every day, WHO reports

Which of these news stories did you hear about? Chances are your child’s school has put out some information about the dangers of vaping but made no mention of how their curricula, policies and culture promote the behaviors which lead directly to sexually transmitted infections.

Don’t get me wrong, parents, schools and concerned adults should be talking to kids about vaping. The teen whose lungs became caked with what was compared to “bacon grease as it cooled,” is a cautionary tale. We aren’t saying it’s not important. Two million kids vaping in 2017 is a lot.

But consider these numbers:

  1. 1.7 million cases of Chlamydia in 2017 and 45% percent are among 15 to 24 year old females.

  2. HPV is responsible for 90% of cervical cancer, 91% of anal cancer, about 75% of vaginal cancer and 70% of oral cancers.

  3. 80% of sexually active people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetime. At any given time, about 40% of 18-59 year olds are infected.

It is estimated that the average teen sees 14,000 sexual messages each year, but most parents (and doctors) admit they wait for the teen to initiate the conversation.

Many sexually active young people wrongly assume they are not at risk for contracting an STI because...

  • They mainly participate in oral sex.