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ADAS informs parents on dangers of vaping, juuling | Potter Leader-Enterprise

SHINGLEHOUSE — A presentation on vaping and juuling was held at the Oswayo Valley elementary school last Monday.

The presentation was given by Katie Taylor, Potter County Prevention Specialist of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, to inform parents and teachers of the dangers of vaping, as many think it’s harmless, Taylor said.

Vaping is inhaling and exhaling aerosol from electronic cigarettes or another vaping device. Though “vaping” makes it sound like the user is inhaling water vapor-and many users believe that’s what they’re inhaling-it’s really aerosol that is being inhaled. Taylor said though some advertisements may say vaping is just inhaling water vapor, it’s inaccurate.

“Like what comes out of a cool-whip or hairspray or Febreze cans, that’s what you’re … inhaling,” Taylor said. “It’s not smoke, it’s aerosol.”

Most vapes will have nicotine in them, Taylor said. E-cigarettes, like many vaping devices, have nicotine pods in them. Nicotine and other chemicals are inhaled into the users’ lungs.

“Most of them will have nicotine in them. Even if they say they that they’re nicotine free, there’s no way to know for sure because they’re not regulated,” Taylor said. “So they can lie and say that they’re nicotine free, but there’s no way to know for sure if there’s nicotine in them or not.”

Juul, a type of vape, is the leading brand right now. It looks like a USB drive, and nicotine pods can be purchased to put in them. Juuls are rechargeable and pods are replaced when they’re empty. Many of the pods come in flavors that appeal to teenagers, such as bubblegum, mango and mint. While most pods have nicotine in them, Juul’s nicotine content is 5% compared to 1-2.4% in other brands.

One Juul pod is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes, Taylor said. How long it lasts will depend on the user.

“I’ve had some kids tell me that they’ve been smoking four of these a day,” Taylor said. “This is super high nicotine content. It’s 59 milligrams of nicotine per cartridge.”

In vape pens, e-juice is used. E-juice is liquid nicotine mixed with propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and other solvents and flavorings.

Another popular thing is “dabbing” or “shatter.” Taylor recommended that parents and teachers search “dabbing” and “shatter” on YouTube, as many new songs that kids listen to reference these things.

“They take a lot of marijuana, put it in a tube — like a turkey baster — then you put a can of butane in it upside down and you hold it in. That liquifies all this marijuana,” Taylor said.

It can be turned into a wax, or some people will pop open an empty Juul pod and vape it from that. It is 90 times more concentrated than a regular joint, Taylor said.

How are kids getting these things? For starters, they’re very accessible and affordable to teens. Taylor said oftentimes an older sibling or friends will purchase them either directly for younger kids, or they will let them use their. Taylor said a lot of students who are referred to her told her their parents don’t care if they are vaping.

The outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use or vaping has been seen across the country. Eight hundred and five lung injury cases have been reported from 46 states and one U.S. territory and 12 deaths have been confirmed in 10 states as of Sept. 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s no secret that regular cigarettes are addictive and bad for a person’s health, but the biggest problem with vaping is there isn’t enough research on this topic to know the long-term effects. There are still high contents of nicotine in vapes and Juuls, which will lead to addiction.

E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine are responsible for many causes of nicotine poisoning, which can cause seizures, comas, breathing difficulties and respiratory failure.

Popcorn lung is a rare medical condition that is caused by the chemical diacetyl, which is used in some electronic cigarette flavors in the U.S. It is a condition that damages the lungs’ smallest airways and makes a person cough and feel short of breath.

To help someone who is addicted to nicotine, Taylor recommends knowing the signs of addiction and to refer them to local agencies or school programs. A hotline they can call is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), which will connect callers directly to their state quitline, which has trained coaches who provide information and help with quitting. Users can also download an app called quitSTART, which is a free app that helps users quit smoking with tailored tips, inspiration and challenges.

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