Concerns over rising teen E-cigarette use - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Concerns over rising teen E-cigarette use

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According to a federal survey released Tuesday, the number of teens using E-cigarettes or "vaping" is on the rise. According to a federal survey released Tuesday, the number of teens using E-cigarettes or "vaping" is on the rise.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

According to a federal survey released Tuesday, the number of teens using E-cigarettes or "vaping" is on the rise. The survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse included teens E-cigarettes use for the first time.

Of more than 41,000 students, 17 percent of high school seniors have admitted to "vaping" in the past month. Even though the usage of regular cigarettes among high school students has gone down, the number of students "vaping" has gone up, which still causes concern among healthcare professionals.

"The worry is once you get addicted to the nicotine, then you'll switch to cigarettes," says Dr. William Lockwood. Lockwood says E-cigarettes are still too new to the market to know what the long term health effects will be from "vaping".

"More and more information is coming out suggesting that there are particles in E-cigarettes that are going to cause problems," says Lockwood. "There's really tiny particles that cause inflammation that make asthma worse and heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. There's also suggestion some particles in E-cigs can cause cancer."

Despite all this, a toxicologist with Washington Poison Control says E-cigs are marketed to teens with all the colors and flavors.

Kalie Johnston a student at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane says a lot of students smoke E-cigarettes. "I think it's just kind of the 'cool' thing to do now. Oh, you have an E-cig that's an 'in' thing," says Johnston

Alek Browning a student at another area high school says many of his friends "vape" because it's supposed to be the "healthier" alternative to smoking. "It's a lot more acceptable and you can smoke them more places," says Browning.

In downtown Spokane, Joey Blodgett manages Sublime Vapor, an E-cigarette retailer. He says that people of all ages use E-cigs but it is very popular with the younger generation.

"There's a lot of teens that are into it. Our 18 to 25 group is huge."

Sublime Vapor tells KHQ they always ID customers and won't sell products to students under 18. Blodgett says he believes that E-cigs are a better alternative to smoking because they don't contain all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. "There's propylene glycol, which is in pretty much everything, vegetable glycerin, nicotine which is derived from vegetables and then food based flavoring."

WAPC toxicologist Dr. Garrard, says studies are being done on the toxicity of E-cigarettes and that minute amounts of heavy metals in the products can lead to heart disease and heart failure.

Still without the long term data, there is no confirmation on exactly how these trendy smokes will affect your health.

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