Lead author Dr. Richard Miech, has published a new study examining the vaping habits and e-cigarette use of teens in the US. In spite of the concerns of health officials that the inhaled nicotine can be harmful to normal brain development, Dr. Miech’s study shows that many of the liquids being used with e-cigarettes by youths do not actually contain nicotine but are just inhalable flavors like strawberry and bubble gum.
Though products relate to tobacco are not legally sold to minors, they still obtain them fairly frequently via online purchases or older acquaintances. E-cigarettes and vaping products have seen a large increase in popularity in recent years among the young population. In fact, vaping is now more common than smoking cigarettes and, based on this new study, the approximate proportion of kids vaping nicotine is only 25 percent.
However, there are additional concerns that accompany these flavorful fluids that kids are inhaling. For instance, another study examined the chemical content of many different vapor flavors and found compounds such as diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-pentadione, all of which have been linked to serious respiratory illnesses in workers.
The CDC states that more research is needed to determine the risks posed to youth by these flavored liquids, but Dr. Miech says research surrounding e-cigarettes should focus on e-cigarette use by youth leading to smoking and other tobacco use later in life.