Teen vaping reaches all time high

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New research shows the number of kids using electronic cigarette devices are soaring to an all time high.

Since last year, about 75 percent of students are picking up one of these devices. That’s an increase of more than 1 million students in the nation. I talked to one local student, who didn’t want to be identified, but is not surprised by the research, saying most of his peers are smoking e-cigarettes.

“I was sitting next to a kid who was vaping in class with his little JUUL. I could hear it, but I knew the teacher couldn’t. I wasn’t going to say anything though,” says the 16 year old vaper.

In new research conducted this year through mercury analytics, high-school students who use e-cigarettes have risen about 75 percent since this time last year. That equals about 3 million students or 20 percent of students smoking the electronic devices.

“You got a couple kids, actually you probably got about 20 kids maybe out of the whole high school that smoke and then you got a lot who have vapes and stuff,” says the 16 year old.

This 16 year old, who didn’t want to be identified, has been vaping a little over a year now. He says for him it’s about social status, and being able to fit in. 

“People always want to be in the new fad and stuff and I consider this a fad, so I just feel like people are trying to be cool,” he says.

But for this student, there is still some questions as to how this fad could affect him.

“I sometimes think of the health impact,” he says.

Dr. Philip Slocum with Freeman Health System says research has shown that smoking cigarettes is not good for your lungs, and e-cigarettes can be used an alternative option. But as for the impacts on a person who has never smoked a cigarette and have only vaped — the research is still in the early stages and there’s not yet any definitive answers for how it will affect a person’s health.

“We have no real solid scientific knowledge about what the long term effects are for e-cigarettes and vaping. There have only been a few short term studies that have been done. Currently right now in the short term, we don’t find any really solid evidence of decline, but there certainly is concern, because the human body evolved or was built to inhale two substances: oxygen and nitrogen,” says Philip Slocum, Freeman Lung Institute Director.

The FDA has recently announced youth vaping has come to epidemic proportions and are now reviewing plans to stop young people from getting access to e-cigarettes.

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