The use of electronic cigarettes and vaping devices by young people was the subject of a recent Victor-Farmington Rotary Club meeting.
Christy Richards, a public health educator with Ontario County Public Health, spoke about the potential danger represented by the growing use of these devices. OCPH seeks to protect and promote the health and well-being of residents, according to its mission statement.
In December 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released a study, administered by the University of Michigan, that found 22.9% of high school seniors said they had used marijuana within the previous 30 days and 16.6% had used a vaping device.
In December 2018, John Hopkins Medicine researchers released a study that disclosed, “compared with smoking cannabis, vaping increased the rate of short-term anxiety, paranoia, memory loss and distraction when doses were the same.”
Richards discussed her observations as a health educator for OCHP and what she encounters in her professional capacity while interacting with young students in local schools. She is concerned about the growing trend of targeting young people to encourage experimentation with vaping devices.
There are 1,000-plus variations of e-liquids that are not approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, according to Richards. She said because vaping devices are so new, more long-term scientific studies concerning the dangers of vaping must be completed.
NIDA Deputy Director Wilson Compton said, “we don’t know yet about the health concerns in vaping.” The ingredients in these liquids may vary. Locally, school authorities seize vaping instruments when students are found with them.
Juuls, a vaping device, can be purchased legally. The manufacturer’s website describes the product as an electronic nicotine delivery system, “a vaporizer that has regulated temperature control and uses a Juul pod filled with a proprietary e-liquid formulation.”
Richards displayed a collection of vaping devices and related instruments, many of which seem similar to a USB flash drive.