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N4T Investigators: Vaping and teens - what you need to know - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Vaping and teens - what you need to know

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The News 4 Tucson Investigators are committed to making sure you have the information you need to keep your family safe. That includes the latest health information about teens and the newest smoking craze – vaping. Things have gotten so bad, that officials at Catalina Foothills High School sent home a letter warning about the dangers of e-cigarettes.         

For this generation of high school students, research the News 4 Tucson Investigators reviewed shows e-cigarettes, or vaping, is now the most popular tobacco product. That’s the case even though for teens it is against the law. While the teens the News 4 Tucson Investigators talked to don't vape themselves, they don't think it's a major health concern. In fact, many teens may have the mistaken impression that vaping is somehow better than cigarettes, and less of a health risk.

But, what do the experts say when it comes to vaping and kids?

“This is an ingenious way to get kids to eventually start smoking,” said Dr. Richard Wahl, a pediatrician who specializes in adolescent health at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Banner - UMC.

Wahl told the News 4 Tucson Investigators that studies show adolescents who try e-cigs are at increased risk of later picking up cigarette smoking.

“The candy and bubble gum cigarettes I grew up with as a kid many years ago - fruit flavored vaping is the new equivalent,” Dr. Wahl said.

In fact, Dr. Wahl also told the News 4 Tucson Investigators that new research showing the dangers of vaping is especially troubling for teens.

“Fruit-flavored juices have higher levels of dangerous chemicals in them, and users have higher levels in their urine and saliva, in their bodies,” Dr. Wahl told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. “I have never seen studies like this before, so it took 14 years for these studies to come out, but yes - vaping is dangerous” he added.

For more information about what you can do to keep your kid safe from the dangers of tobacco, including how to recognize e-cigs, and how to talk to your kids about the potential dangers of vaping click this link.

If you have something you would like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to investigate, email us at investigator@kvoa.com or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.

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