CDC issues warning about young Alaskans vaping

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Center for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a Health Advisory recently for E-cigarettes and vaping products, warning about substance abuse and the risk associated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a Health Advisory recently for E-cigarettes and vaping products, warning about substance abuse and the risk associated. (Photo Source - Storyblocks)

Electronic cigarettes can contain harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing chemicals.

E-cigarettes are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a method to quit smoking. It is inconclusive on whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting.

Rick Hinkey, a specialist from the American Lung Association says that it’s mainly kids who are using e-cigarettes.

“Young people. Middle school, high school, primarily young adults as well, and sometimes even elementary.” Said Hinkey.

According to Hinkey, nicotine is the third most addictive substance in the world. He says that almost 25 percent of high-schoolers have at least tried vaping.

Using reasons such as their friends are doing it, its trendy, the flavors taste good, or perceiving e-cigarettes being safer than tobacco.
Hinkey states this perception is ‘industry driven’ and although E-cigarettes have been on the market for almost a decade, that the ‘JUUL’ brand e-cigarettes were the catalyst of younger people vaping.

“It took off after that. Because they were targeting young people. They had cool people. They made it look like it was clean and ‘safer’.”

Between June 28 and August 20 this year, 193 potential cases of vaping-associated pulmonary illness have been reported from a total of 22 states. One case Illinois was fatal.

“The thing about JUUL nicotine is it’s not the same as a tobacco nicotine. It’s actually easier to smoke. It has a less harsh feel when you’re inhaling it. It’s also more easily absorbed by the body.” Hinkey says makes this product all the more dangerous.

At this time, no medical cases against e-cigarettes have been reported from Alaska. State and federal public health agencies are working to prevent any cases in Alaska by researching more about the products.

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