It’s a trend that’s causing real concern these days in the health and scientific communities: “vaping.”
It refers to the inhaling of nicotine vapor produced by battery-powered electronic cigarettes often by young people.
CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports on what’s being done to confront what some now term a growing epidemic.
18-year-old Katelyn Waddell says she no longer does it but admits she was once a pretty steady e-cigarette user.
“It’s like a social thing and how people smoke more cigarettes when they’re going out and stuff. You vape more when you’re out with friends. I just kept doing it because it was really popular at that time and it is still really popular,” said Katelyn Waddell an ex-vaper.
In fact, e-cigarette use by teenagers has skyrocketed in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, jumped more than 38 percent last year among high school students and nearly 29 percent among middle schoolers, reversing a previous downward trend.
Stanton Glantz is Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He says the ultra-fine particles and nicotine flavorants delivered by e-cigarettes are bad for the human body, not good for a young person’s developing brain and don’t help you quit cigarettes, as some people think.
“Today, we’re getting actual evidence and what that’s showing is that in terms of heart and lung disease they’re about as bad as cigarettes, maybe even worse,” said Glantz.
The Colorado Quitline, for example, which helps smokers quit tobacco, is now available to kids as young as 12 years of age.
“The most important thing is to get them out of the environment, to get rid of the flavors and to empower the non-user to say, ‘I don’t want you using these things around me because you’re polluting the air I’m breathing,” said Glantz.
Sara Erkes, the owner of Denver Aurora Boro Studio, a Colorado retail shop says she thinks more e-cigarette studies need to be done.
“The mentality of vaping is you are not combusting the plant matter so you’re taking away the most unhealthy part about smoking.”