“People think it is safer than smoking, but we really don’t know how it’s going to affect their health years from now.” – Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tobacco Prevention Program Specialist Arlene Davis
E-cig use on the rise among adolescents
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of their 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey in January showing an alarming rise in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students.
Although the study shows traditional cigarette use has decreased among adolescents in recent years, the rise in vaping has grown from 2 out of every 100 high school students reporting using an e-cig device in 2011 to 1 in 5 in 2018.
‘Vaping,’ as it is more commonly known, uses handheld electronic devices to heat a viscous liquid called e-liquid (or e-juice) to produce a mist that is then inhaled.
E-liquid comes in different flavors and can have varying degrees of nicotine content.
Often touted as a safer alternative to smoking, many anti-smoking organizations view vaping as a means to introduce nicotine to the next generation of consumers using tactics long prohibited to traditional tobacco products.
“Those ads made it look ‘cool’ to smoke, they made kids want to try it,” said Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tobacco Prevention Program Specialist Arlene Davis. “Now vaping companies are doing the same thing.”
Davis also spoke about the widely held belief that vaping is less harmful than smoking and compared these early years of the e-cig industry to those of ‘Big Tobacco’ when smoking was not believed to be harmful.
“People think it is safer than smoking, but we really don’t know how it’s going to affect their health years from now,” she said.
Currently, TPP does not offer a formal program for adolescents addicted to nicotine, but Davis said they do participate in school health fairs where they engage and educate youth on the dangers of nicotine in all forms.
For more information and services offered by TPP call: 918-756-6231.