A new government study shows high school smoking is falling, but is seemingly being replaced by e-cigarette use, the Associated Press reported.
The Centers for Disease Control released a report earlier this month saying that e-cigarettes are now more prevalent than smoking among high school students. While traditional cigarette smoking dropped to 9.2 percent use in the number of students, e-cigarettes tripled to more than 13 percent, the AP reported. Use of water pipes and hookahs also rose to 9.4 percent.
As CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden calls the findings “alarming,” Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about the dangers of smoking and what is not known at this time regarding e-cigarettes.
Q: How can cigarette smoking be detrimental to health, specifically for youth?
A: “Tobacco abuse (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco) can all increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, lungs and other organs. Stroke and heart attack risks are also raised significantly by tobacco use.”
Q: What are the potential health dangers for youth when it comes to e-cigarettes?
A: “Nicotine, no matter the source, can increase blood pressure. Otherwise, much of the possible dangers center around the fact that e-cigarettes and vapor products have not been fully studied and are not regulated. Therefore, the exact components are not known from one product to another. The effects of these products will not be identified until studies are carried out with prolonged use.”
Q: What are some health misunderstandings about the use of e-cigarettes?
A: “I would say the main misconceptions are that these products have been studied and are safe. We do not know much about the safety yet as mentioned above.”
Q: Why may e-cigarettes be attractive for youth?
A: “E-cigarettes and vapor products definitely represent the new trend in smoking. The fact that most products are odorless can also help in hiding their use from parents and other adults.”
Q: What do you suggest parents do when it comes to smoking behavior in their children?
A: “I would suggest that parents be vigilant and open in their discussions. Much of the safety data of these products is yet to be known. Therefore, it is best for parents to encourage their children to avoid all nicotine use.”