Research Watch: Huffing Glue, Paint, and Cleaners

Diana Zuckerman
January 1, 2000

Survey Shows Alarming Statistics on Huffing

American Academy of Pediatrics

(AAP) News

October 1999

Available for $5 from, or at (800) 433-9016

Getting high by breathing in fumes from glue, paint, cleaners and other products is a popular pastime for 10-17-year-olds, according to a survey sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics and conducted in August 1999.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed admitted that they knew about “huffing” and 26 percent said they had seen or heard about classmates who huff. On average, the kids were 12 years old when they first saw or heard about huffing.

Although only 6 percent of the children admitted to huffing, that number is likely to be low, since it was gathered in a telephone survey in which at least one parent was available to give permission to participate. The youngest children (10 or 11) were most likely (8 percent) to admit having tried it.

Of those who said their friends use inhalants, 35 percent said huffing usually takes place at school, 19 percent said it occurs at parties, 18 percent at home, and 11 percent at friends’ homes. Huffing was most common in the South.

Most of the respondents said that marijuana was more popular at their school than huffing, and most were aware of the dangers, saying that huffing was more dangerous than drinking alcohol.

Zuckerman, Diana. "Huffing Glue, Paint, and Cleaners." Research Watch review of "Survey Shows Alarming Statistics on Huffing." Youth Today, Dec/Jan2000, p. 17.

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