Parents: Teens could be vaping without realizing health risks

Parents: Teens could be vaping without realizing health risks
An e-cigarette that's on the rise, the Juul, looks similar to a flash driver and is easy for teens to use without parents or teachers knowing.

(KFVS) - While overall smoking has gone down among teens, the Center for Disease Control reports tobacco use overall has remained steady.

According to the study, that's because vaping is becoming so common.

The study also reports teens don't realize just how dangerous these devices can be.

The e-cigarette that's on the rise is called the Juul.

It looks very similar to a flash drive which can make it easy for teens to sneak it, past parents and teachers.

"Most people originally thought they were a tobacco sensation product – and now they've become a cool, hip new hobby for young people," said Tyler Garretson with Saint Francis Medical Center.

He said one Juul pod can have more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes.

"They're becoming addicted to nicotine without even realizing it and how hard it is to stop using nicotine once you've been using it for a long period of time," said Garretson. He said quitting nicotine can be as hard as quitting heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs.

Garretson also said there is no way to tell if the Juul is as bad or worse than cigarettes, because there isn't that much information out about them.

That's why lawmakers called on the FDA to put regulations on the Juul, and they responded by issuing warnings to 40 retail and online stores against illegal sales of Juuls to children. The FDA also asked Juul labs to release documents about the design, marketing and ingredients.

"The thing obviously that I'm worried about is and I think our parents are worried as well is there's so much that's unknown about them," said Dr. Chris Kase, principal of Cape Central High School.

He said they have had few issues on campus with the Juul, but because they are so inconspicuous it's hard to tell if they might be missing it.

Leaders with the FDA announced at the beginning of May they are cracking down on companies that advertise any type of e-cigarette towards children.

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