Over a four year timespan, Lane County saw a 250% increase in teenage use of E-cigarettes. Public Health officials say many young people and their parents are misinformed about the dangers of vaping and they want to change that.
The kids know these inhalant devices by many names: hookahs, MODS, vape pens, and Juul—the new E-cigarette that looks like a USB flash drive. They come in enticing flavors like bubble gum and tooty fruity.
Christy Inskip is the Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at Lane County Public Health. She says the unregulated E-cigarette industry markets their products as safe.
“We have been hearing that even parents have been providing them to their children because they don’t know that they’re harmful.”
Inskip says these products contain heavy metals and other carcinogens. She says the plumes exhaled from these devices is not a vapor at all, but aerosol. And they almost always contain nicotine, Inskip says.
“When our youth start using these products, they sometimes will vomit profusely,” says Inskip, “which is actually their body overdosing and rejecting that nicotine.”
Prevention specialists are taking their anti-vaping campaign to public schools and the community at large.