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E-Cigs Not For Kids

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There’s a lot of buzz about e-cigs – electronic cigarettes.

They may look like cigarettes, but aren’t.
Battery operated, they create a vapor. Not smoke. So you vape them.
That vapor contains nicotine, various flavorings, and propylene glycol – the stuff they use in theaters to make stage smoke.

Vaping seems to be catching on: not only with adults, but with middle and high school students.
A new study in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says 6 to 12th graders who ever- used e-cigs more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. Ten per cent of high school students had tried them.

Most of them -- more than three fourths – also smoked regular cigarettes.
But 160,000 kids -- more than 9 % -- were not regular cigarette smokers.

Recent studies suggest e-cig vapor contains much lower levels of toxic substances than regular cigarette smoke. But both contain nicotine. It’s not only addicting. It can adversely affect the developing adolescent brain. And e-cigs may be a gateway to regular cigarettes for young people.

Most states have no restrictions on e-cig sales to minors. And they’re easily available on hundreds of web sites. More study and more regulation is needed.