It used to be kids thought it was cool to sneak a couple of smokes from Mom or Dad and light up when nobody was around. But decades of studies about the dangers of smoking, and changes in the way society views smoking, have sharply reduced that trend. Now there’s a new trend that medical experts are calling an epidemic among high schoolers…the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes. They are essentially battery powered nicotine inhalers. Those who use them call it vaping, and the US Surgeon General has noted a 900% increase in e-cigarette use by high school students. The Food and Drug Administration is also now looking at how these products, which come in different shapes, like flash drives, and come in flavors like tutti frutti, cotton candy and sour gummy worms, are increasingly being marketed to teens.
In the video, Dr. Stephen Thornton, toxicologist, emergency room physician and medical director of the Poison Control Center at The University of Kansas Health System, answers several key questions about e-cigarettes. What is vaping, and what is it that’s being inhaled in the devices? Why are they so popular among teens? What are the risks? Can vaping help someone quit smoking regular tobacco, and can it actually create new smokers? He talks about what the latest research on vaping and most importantly, what parents need to know.