TAMPA, Fla. — This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that would have banned certain flavored vapes or e-cigarettes and raised the smoking age to 21.
One of his concerns: That kids would move on to regular cigarettes and vaping is a safer alternative.
Most doctors disagree that vaping is safe at all and it's been proven that kids and teens who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to try a cigarette and three times more likely to become frequent cigarette smokers.
"Many teens and sometimes even their parents, that's one of the reasons for the campaign, don't realize how incredibly addicting these newer devices are," pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Christy Sadreameli said.
Dr. Sadreameli says vaping also causes major health concerns.
You've probably heard about teens ending up in the hospital from severe lung injuries due to e-cigarettes, but she says the damage can build up over time.
"What's more common is getting chronic damage to the lungs through components that are in e-cigarettes. They're not just harmless water vapor with flavor plus or minus some nicotine which is what many teens think. They contain toxic ultrafine particles which are very inflammatory to the cardiovascular system and lungs and it can damage the small airways in the lungs," Dr. Sadreameli said
That's why there's a new campaign to get parents to talk to their kids and not assume their kids would never do that.
"That age of pre-teens and young teens, they do listen to their parents. Parents may forget that, but they do still have a big impact on their kids and we want to empower them to start these conversations young," Dr. Sadreameli said.
If you do find out that your teen is vaping, talk to them about why it's important to stop and the damage they may be doing to their body. If they are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor to get help.
More information and resources can be found at talkaboutvaping.org.
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