Here Is The Morbidity and Mortality Information You’ve Been Waiting For

I’ve been browsing recent issues of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, as one does on a lazy Saturday morning, and a recent issue provided a bit more information about the popularity of vaping. It’s not the precise data I’d like, but it’s a little more than I had the last time I wrote about it. This chart shows not just whether high-school students vaped during the past 30 days, but how often they vaped compared to cigarette users:

There are two things missing from this. First, it’s an average of 2015-2017. We know that vaping has been on the rise, so this probably underestimates e-cigarette use somewhat. Second, it doesn’t distinguish between nicotine and non-nicotine vaping. At a guess, non-nicotine vaping dominates the 1-10 day categories, but nicotine vaping dominates the 10-30 day categories. Also note that the raw data used in this report shows these categories as a percent of people who use the products. I converted this into total use assuming that 5 percent of high school students use cigarettes (cited here) and 11.7 percent use e-cigarettes (cited in the first paragraph of the MMWR report).

What this all means is that you shouldn’t take these numbers to the bank. They’re useful, but not guaranteed to be super-accurate.

And now for something completely different: are you curious about how your state is doing in the opioid crisis? The chart below shows the change in death rate from all drug overdoses between 2013 and 2017. In some states, like West Virginia, Ohio, and DC, the death rate doubled or more. In others, like California and Kansas, it was low and didn’t change at all. And finally, there were even two states, Wyoming and Montana, that showed a decrease.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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