CHICAGO (WLS) –
The dangers of using e-cigarettes in teenagers are a health issue for some local school administrations as they see more children accepting the habit. The head of the FDA has called e-cigarettes "very popular with children".
While some adults are forgiving flavored e-cigarettes for replacing traditional cigarettes and even for weight loss, it seems that some adolescents adopt the habit because they think it's the cool thing to do.
E-cigarette products, such as JUUL, have become increasingly popular among teenagers. They are supple, sweet and sociable.
In Chicago, you can only buy e-cigarette products if you are over 21 years old.
Frank Rex, owner of Let's All Vape, said the age restrictions in Chicago cut into his business, but not the business of the e-cigarette industry.
"That does not stop her at all, not a bit."
Teens in the city and suburbs are even vaping at school.
"Definitely the bathroom they like to call the JUUL room, like & # 39; Why are there toilets in the JUUL room?" A teenager said.
"Students who use it in a bathroom or even in a study use a hall or classroom because they can hide the unit so easily," said Bill Walsh, Hinsdale Central High School.
"They do it like zeroing it down, they just hold it until nothing comes out," a student said
"We have stories vaping students in our class," said Arwen Pokorny Lyp, Director of Hinsdale South High School.
Principals in Hinsdale Central and Nr rth high school want tougher laws to hold teen vapers. There is currently no regulation against minors who own e-cigarette products in Hinsdale or Darien. At present, the worst punishment is the imprisonment and seizure of vape items, which creates a lively show-and-tell for teachers.
"They were shocked, they just said 'Oh my god, this looks like a portable mouse that looks like a phone charger that looks like a USB device," said Lyp. "We know there are side effects, but because it's newer and studies have been done on how it specifically affects the adolescent brain, we do not know."
"Just because it's safer than traditional cigarettes, it's not 'It means it's safe,' said Dr. Anita Chandra, pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chandra said most of her teenage patients would know everything about vaping.
"It gives you a little buzz for a couple of seconds, then it goes away," said a teenager.
"After two or three strokes you feel kind of calm," said another teenager.
"Nicotine is addictive," Chandra said, "It's attracting a population of adolescents who know that ordinary cigarettes are bad for them, but they just end up being addicted."
A spokeswoman for JUUL Labs insists that their products are for adults.
"A person who did not previously used nicotine products should not start, especially teenagers. We encourage parents to talk with their children about the dangers of nicotine, "the spokeswoman said in her response.
Chandra warns caution in a notice issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
" Some of the actual products, like that The glycerin that forms the vapor can actually be turned into things that can be dangerous, such as formaldehyde, which we know to be toxic to the cells, "she said.
Regarding JUUL products, her said Spokeswoman, "While formaldehyde and diacetyl are by-products of JUUL's safe consumption, JUUL's tests have shown that levels are undetectable or below quantitation levels."
How to teach adult work, parents, teachers and legislators Said the teens who talked to ABC7 what they hear from their peers.
"Like everyone else, they think that it's so cool and all, and I feel me like the reason everyone does it, "said a teenager.
Some schools are experimenting with ways to curb behavior. Barrington High School is testing a vape detector, and New Trier High School is considering options with a dedicated summer task force dedicated to the topic.
For parents looking for vapor trails, some giveaways are a sweet smell in the air and onward, your child's clothes, a stubborn cough, and new technologies that do not look the same, like a weird-looking USB flash drive or charger.
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