Health & Science

Over 2 million teens have tried vaping leading to more lung-related diseases, according to CDC

It is believed that 1 in 5 kids in Houston have tried vaping.


AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File
FILE – In this April 16, 2019 file photo, a researcher holds vape pens in a laboratory in Portland, Ore. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, vaping rates among U.S. teenagers fell dramatically in 2020. The drop comes in the wake of 2019's outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths.

A new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 2.5 million middle and high schoolers have used an e-cigarette in the past month.

In the study released Thursday, the CDC reports that of the 2.5 million students, nearly half of the students surveyed used e-cigarettes on 20 or more of the past 30 days.

Dr. Pushan Jani, an associate professor at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, said hospital admissions in Houston reflect these numbers, and that it is believed 1 in 5 kids in Houston have tried vaping.

"We are taking care of more and more patients with EVALI," Jani said.

EVALI, or E-Cigarette or Vaping use-Associated Lung Injury, is defined by the American Lung Association as a newly named disease after the increase in severe lung illness cases related to e-cigarette and vaping products.

Jani said that over the past few years, many newer e-cigarette brands are cheaper and can be used for longer periods of time.

"They are available online without any legal repercussions from any government agencies," he said. "Even though there are laws in place for in-person sales."

Jani added that many websites that sell e-cigarettes do so without requiring any age documentation. He said parents should talk to their kids to make sure they understand the risks of e-cigarettes.

However, Jani also warned that confrontation may not always be the answer. He said some kids may need therapies to help them quit these products.

"Sometimes they may need Quit Therapies that we use for cigarettes," he said. "Nicotine can be very addictive. Kids can get hooked onto this within 2 or 3 days of using it."

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