(WKBN) – Dr. Mike Sevilla of the Family Practice Center in Salem stopped by WKBN to talk about vaping.
This comes after there have been more than 20 reports of vaping-related illnesses in the state and more than 500 nationwide, some of which have resulted in deaths.
Sevilla broke down the numbers.
About 72% of the reported victims are male, and 67% are between 18 and 34 years old. Sixteen percent of cases are involving kids under the age of 18.
A national survey showed 3 million high school students have used e-cigarettes.
“That’s a huge increase versus a year ago. I think that’s like a 60, or 70% increase of use in these kids. That’s why it’s a big problem now,” Sevilla said.
Sevilla said there has been a lot of talk about whether the products are specifically marketed to kids, specifically the use of flavors.
WKBN spoke to the owner of a vape shop in Canfield earlier this week. He said banning the use of flavors will make the problem worse.
He says it’s not the flavoring that’s causing these illnesses, but the illegal mixing of the juices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on initial data from certain states, many patients reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC.
Sevilla said vaping has been a useful tool for adults who want to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. However, he doesn’t recommend that kids start vaping.
He said if parents notice that their kids have sudden difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and coughing with a rapid onset, they should look into whether vaping is the cause.