Some teens say they don’t think e-cigarettes are as bad as the real thing, and they think they look cool and taste good.
15 year old Via says she vapes strawberry or mango.
“The flavor is good,” she said.
Kierra started using e-cigarettes at age 16.
“You can smoke them anywhere, it doesn’t smell, it’s vapor,” she said.
In 2015, youth use of e-cigarettes in Utah was 10.5 percent. In 2017 it’s at 11.1 percent.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing some growth in that area,” said Brittany Karzen, who leads the anti-smoking and tobacco prevention program at the Utah Department of Health.
Since 2011, Utah youth use rates have tripled, despite the law prohibiting sales to minors.
The health department also says youth more likely to use e-cigarettes than any other tobacco product on the market.
“And that’s a concern, because they contain nicotine, and nicotine is bad for developing brain,” said Karzen.
“We also know that teens who use e-cigs are more likely to try other risk behaviors,” she said.
Karzen says look for new prevention efforts aimed at parents and schools coming later this spring.
On Wednesday, we explore whether e-cigarettes lead teens to smoking.
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