Rising number of teens using e-cigarettes, developing addictions at an early age

Data from a new survey just released this week says one in four Minnesota 11th graders have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.

P4T and the Mankato Clinic discuss the rising number of teens using e-cigarettes

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Project for Teens and Chaun Cox from Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato discuss the rising number of teens using e-cigarette, and the myths and truths on the addiction to e-cigarettes.

Data from a new survey just released this week says one in four Minnesota 11th graders have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. That’s a 54% jump from the same survey in 2016.

The Minnesota Department of Health says the jump among 8th graders was even more significant, with 11% reporting vaping in the past 30 days, nearly double the 2016 figure.

The Minnesota Student Survey was conducted last school year, before the nationwide surge in lung illnesses blamed on vaping.

Minnesota now has 55 confirmed or probable cases of vaping-related severe lung injuries.

To learn more, Project for Teens broke down some myths and truths about vaping. A myth is that a person won’t get addicted to vaping if they only do it for a year or two, when the truth is that it is highly addictive. Also if you vape you are four times as likely to develop and addiction to regular cigarettes.

Another myth is that one person vaping can’t harm other people, while the truth is that secondhand smoke from vaping can be just as dangerous. The smoke can lead to cancer as well as birth defects.

Dr. Chaun Cox with May Clinic Health System explains that initially vaping was seen as a way to help people stop smoking, but now they are seeing more people being addicted to e-cigarettes.

He says that person who has developed an addiction to vaping should come when if they are dealing with harmful side effects. These side effects include elevated heart rate, headaches and trouble breathing, and dizziness. He says the first steps in handling the addiction is treating the nicotine addiction.

Once flavorings were added to vaping devices, Cox says the clinic new they were targeting young adults.

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