Smoking rates nationally have dropped more than 30 percent in the past 50 years, but healthcare professionals warn with new vaping trends, those statistics are headed in the opposite direction.
“In the last five years the amount of e-cigarette use has increased dramatically,” says Dr. Todd Freudenberger a pulmonary and critical care physician at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue.
Most concerning is the 900 percent increase in teenage use. A lot of the vaping products contain fruit flavors and are packaged in bright colors that appeal to a younger audience.
“E-cigarettes appeal to young people because of the different devices that are available, the flavors that are available like soda and candy and fruit flavor,” says Dr. Freudenberger.
He says while vaping doesn't cause the carcinogenic damage that burning tobacco does, many of these products do contain nicotine which is addictive and can lead users to other more harmful products.
“Nicotine itself is known to increase heart rate; nicotine causes addiction. Nicotine in young people has been associated with depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder,” explains Dr. Freudenberger.
Nationally vaping products are not well regulated and contain chemicals that are known carcinogens.
So, Dr. Freudenberger has this message:
“Just say no, that’s the message. E-cigarettes are not benign; they’re not harmless.”