Health officials: Teen vaping becoming an “epidemic”

Health

There’s been a significant increase in the number of young people using e-cigarettes and other vaping products. 

The FDA and CDC are now calling youth vaping an “epidemic,” and are warning young people about the potential health risks. 

More and more young people are using e-cigarettes. The CDC said teen vaping went up 78 percent in America, from 2017 to 2018. 

Some people believe e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to cigarettes and help people stop smoking.  

“I haven’t’ had a cigarette since January 30,” said Tom Murphy of Chicopee. “And I get my satisfaction out of it I don’t have to smoke anymore I don’t want it I don’t crave it. I get my fulfillment out of the ‘Juno.’” 

In Massachusetts, you must be at least 21 to purchase an e-cigarette or a vaping product. 

But 22News found out many people young people are going around the state’s age requirement by purchasing them online. 

“There seems to be an ease of access online,” said Sarah Kendall, Vice President of Clinical Operations at the Mental Health Association. “You can purchase it online and have it delivered right to your home. They come in different flavors like ice cream. they really are marketed quite well towards youth and adolescence.” 

Kendall told 22News most vaping products contain the addictive chemical, nicotine, which may be harmful to a teen’s brain development.  

E-cigarettes are not an FDA approved method to quit smoking. 

Kendall said recent national studies show teens who use e-cigarettes are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes later in life.

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