Report says Okanagan youth vape, drink, have sex more than B.C. counterparts

A recent study says youth in the Okanagan drink, vape and have more sex than their provincial counterparts.

The 2018 B.C. Adolescent Health Survey says it surveyed 38,000 students in Grades 7 to 12, with 58 of the province’s 60 school districts completing the multi-page questionnaire.

The publishers say the survey has been administered by public health nurses and nursing students in mainstream public schools every five years since 1992.

The Okanagan survey included the following school districts: Vernon, Central Okanagan, Okanagan Similkameen, Nicola-Similkameen, Okanagan Skaha and North Okanagan-Shuswap.

Regarding smoking, the percentage of Okanagan youth who had used smoked tobacco was higher than the provincial average: 24 per cent versus 18 per cent.

Notably, in 2008, the Okanagan average was 29 per cent, while the provincial average was 26 per cent.

Going back to 2018, 29 per cent of youth in the Okanagan had vaped with nicotine, eight percentage points higher than the provincial average (21 per cent).

Okanagan youth who vaped without nicotine were listed at 23 per cent, slightly higher than the provincial average of 19 per cent, as was cigarette use (9 per cent vs 7 per cent).

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