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FDA report says teen vaping on the rise

Teen e-cigarette and vape usage is up according to new report released by the FDA.

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 7:42 PM
Updated: Nov 17, 2018 10:15 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) The Food and Drug Administration has reported a rising trend in e-cigarette use among teenagers,

"E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes and various forms." Maria Burnham, Health Coordinator with the St. Joseph School District. 

The numbers released show a 77% increase of e-cigarette use in high school students, and a 48% increase for middle school students.

E-cigarettes and vapes are a relatively new form of smoking, Burnham warns the dangers of using these devices can be just as bad as smoking regular cigaretts.

Burnham said she wants parents to be in the know so they can spot these devices when they see them.According to Burnham, the "Juul", is one of the hottest on the market its described as very thin, very easy to carry and looks like a USB drive.

"One Juul pod contains as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes." Burnham said. 

Youth organizations who work closely with teenagers also expressed concern.

"Young folks can easily bring [e-cigarettes] to school with them," Robin Hammond, St. Joseph Youth Alliance, said. "They can bring them in the bathroom."

The Youth Alliance wants teens to understand these dangers early on, so they don't fall prey to marketing tacticts.

"We want them to be above the influence, not under the influence of something." Hammond said. 

Burnham wants teens to understand the lifetime consequences of getting addicted, so they can make the right choices at the right age.

"Once people are addicted to nicotine its very difficult to get away from it." Burnham said. 

Burnham said it's important children and parents realize the similarities between regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

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More hot and humid weather on the way for today with highs back in the upper 90s with some areas reaching triple digits. Use caution when spending time outside because heat index values will once again be in the triple digits for many. A cold front will start to approach our area tonight and stall to our north giving us a few chances for showers and thunderstorms overnight, however this activity will not be widespread. Temperatures will still be above average this weekend with highs in the 90s. A few lingering rain chances will continue this weekend, but much of the weekend will be dry. The cold front will move through the area early next week giving us some much cooler temperatures. High will be back down in the upper 70s and lower 80s to start off next week.
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