DHEC deems new, disposable e-cig trend dangerous for teens’ health
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Health officials are once again battling e-cigarettes after a new disposable vape is bringing those addictive flavors back to teens.
Puff Bar or Cali Plus are throwaway vapes that come in dessert flavors that have been shown to appeal to teenagers.
Officials are sending out warnings that the vapes can cause health problems.
“I usually get Cali Plus or Hyde,” said a man who wants to remain anonymous. “This is Ignite. It’s what I bought cause they ran out of Hyde.”
He said what makes the disposable vapes appealing to him is that they reduce his anxiety.
When asked what made him chose the vapes over traditional tobacco, he said tobacco was disgusting and tasted horrible. He says young teenagers shouldn’t smoke, and so does DHEC.
“We know that nicotine impacts a developing brain so there is concern that the nicotine in these disposable e-cigs can change the brain chemistry and cause mood swings, depression, and anxiety,″ said Catherine Warner, DHEC.
Warner says the fruity flavors like watermelon lure in the teens.
DHEC says there’s been a dramatic increase in high school students using vapes. In 2019, 22.9 percent used e-cigs in South Carolina and 2 million reportedly used them nationwide.
“E-cigs are a tobacco product that contains nicotine with harmful flavors that could lead to lung conditions and lung injury,” said Warner. “They also contain heavy metals nickel and lead.”
Some parents say they hope their children and grandchildren never use them.
“Do you ever see how much smoke comes out? I’m like how can somebody think that going into your lungs is doing you any good,” said Karen McNally. “I mean really it’s supposed to be air… clean air.”
The anonymous man said he’ll never stop vaping.
“I don’t think I’ll ever quit,” he said. “It helps me like a medicine.”
DHEC recommends parents research all they can about disposable e-cigs and don’t be afraid to talk to teenagers about the dangers. It has a smoking cessation hotline if you or your teens want to quit either tobacco or e-cigs. The number for the hotline is 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
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