BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – As school returns for kids around the Valley, vaping has been a concern for both parents and doctors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. That includes 4.9% of middle school students and 20.8% of high school students.
Mallory Ucchino, a primary care physician at Mercy Health, said smoking or inhalation of any kind is bad for lung tissue. The issue with vaping is kids don’t see it as a problem.
Ucchino said because of its recent popularity, there is not a lot of research about the long-term effects of vaping.
Vape pens often look like technology, flash drives or something kids think looks cool.
Ucchino said they don’t realize the impact it’s having on their health.
“I think people thought that vaping would be better than cigarettes because it doesn’t have all of the other chemicals that cigarettes have in them, but it still has nicotine. You can still get addicted to it and theories are that this is going to progress, as an adult, into a cigarette addiction.”
Ucchino said school-age kids often don’t want to talk about these things with their parents, so she encourages parents to take their kids to the doctor, who can better explain how vaping can seriously affect their health.