CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Medical experts and schools are reaching out to students to help them grasp the increasing risks behind vaping.
The vaping industry has rapidly grown over the last decade. In that rise, the industry has been able to largely proceed with limited regulations and limited scientific study.
Data shows that 80% of users will begin before the age of 30. Due to those numbers, schools and researchers are hoping they can reach students early enough to prevent them from starting and putting their lungs at risk.
To educate students on those dangers, Smoking Cessation Educator Marcy Ivory and Director of Respiratory Therapy Kevin Griggs spoke with students at Graham High School.
The visit was one of four visits that the Mercy Health team will make to schools in Champaign County.
The latest survey from the CDC shows that regular tobacco use is at an all-time low, with only 3.6% of high school seniors reporting smoking daily. In contrast, 37.3% of high school seniors reported vaping within the last 12 months.
The use of vaping products by teens is up significantly across the board, prompting Mercy Health to educate teens on the facts and potential dangers of the vaping products they are using.
Officials have grown concerned that many teens have begun to order their products online to get around age restrictions. Many are buying cheaper, third-party brands and “refills” that, although legal, have been believed to be one of the major causes behind the health crisis.
Experts reported an increase in Vitamin E being used to thicken off-brand batches and create heavier clouds of smoke. Vitamin E is an oil based vitamin, after it is vaporized into the lungs, it settles back into an oil once it cools. The building oil creates breathing problems and symptoms that experts referred to as akin to “slowly drowning yourself.”
“The industry is so unregulated that people are getting ahold of products that are flat out dangerous and could kill them,” said Director of Respiratory Therapy Kevin Griggs.
“I’m hoping they take a better look at what they’re doing,” said Griggs, “and have a full understanding before they go out and start vaping or continue to vape. We really don’t want to see our youth in this crisis.”