News ID: 213064
Published: 0539 GMT April 11, 2018

Smoking trend among high school students raising concern

Smoking trend among high school students raising concern

Although cigarette smoking has declined among youth and young adults in the US, what was meant to be an alternative to typical cigarettes is now becoming a popular, and concerning trend among high school students.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, e-cigarette use has grown an astounding 900 percent among high school students from 2011 to 2015, reported.

“I think the original purpose of the e-cigarettes or vaping was to get away from all the chemicals in cigarettes and just get the nicotine,” said Erin Fredrick a Respiratory Therapist at HSHS St. Joseph’s hospital.

Now health officials say users are just trading one for the other.

“There are certain chemicals in there that are known to be hazardous so I think that it's not necessarily a better option, it's just a lesser of two evils,” said Frederick.

Now e-cigarettes are stirring up a new trend for young adults.

“It's just like cigarettes were, 20, 30, 40 years ago, you know it's the cool thing to do now,” said Frederick.

“I think the way it's marketed and presented is that it's no more harmful than a stick of gum,” explains Melissa Jackson L.E. Phillips —  Libertas Treatment Center.

“It's fun, it's flavorful it's just what you do, when actually there's a lot more to it than that, it has the addictive chemical nicotine in it.”

With so many unknowns about health effects, health officials are expressing concerns.

“One of the big things they've seen with vaping now is what they call popcorn lung,” explained Frederick.

“It's a thickening or scarring of the air sacs in your lungs in the smaller airways that are preventing oxygen or carbon dioxide exchange.”

“I think adolescents are kind of leeward into thinking that it's pretty harmless because it's electronic and 'it's just vapor,'" said Jackson.

And when discussing the dangers of smoking, drugs and addictive substances with your children, health officials recommend including e-cigarettes in the conversation.

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