Twenty-year-old Alex Morrin says an unexpected danger of vaping is it is easy to hide.
“You can do it in the same room as them,” Morrin told CBS News of vaping around his parents.
“It vaporizes,” Winna Morrin, Alex’s mother, added. “So you don’t see any smoke.”
A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Friday — based on 2021 data from a National Health Interview Survey — found that 11% of 18- to 24-year-olds define themselves as current e-cigarette users, more than any other age group of adults.
The report also found that White non-Hispanic Americans between 18 and 24 vape more than Latino, Asian or Black youth in the same age group.
Overall, the survey found that 4.5% of adults ages 18 and over vape. The survey defined current e-cigarette use as respondents who say they vape “every day” or “some days.”
It’s not just young adults who vape. About 14% of high schoolers do as well, according to an October 2022 survey conducted by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration.
Earlier this week, the American Heart Association reported that researchers are finding that e-cigarettes with nicotine are associated with increased blood pressure and heart rate, but more research is needed on the long-term effects. Some e-cigarettes may contain additional chemicals which may also be dangerous, the AMA said.
The need for more research on the topic was reiterated by Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, director of the Tobacco Treatment Clinic at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“The effects of vaping on kids and adolescents is an addiction that can come about from the chronic exposure to nicotine,” Galiatsatos said.
Galiatsatos told CBS News that vaping may cause a wide range of severe outcomes, but admitted that “we don’t know the long-term consequences of electronic cigarettes.”
Complicating the issue is that while the FDA allows the marketing of tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, it has not authorized the other flavored products which have flooded the market.
Alex said his health issues started when he became addicted to e-cigarettes at 16.
“While I did it, I felt fine, but in between I would get nauseous,” Alex said.
He also started experiencing seizures.
“I thought I was watching my son die,” Winna said.
The Morrins believe that the key to stopping vaping is to do it together.
“We’re a team, and he knows we’ve got his back,” Winna said.