GR Urban League working to educate teens on vaping dangers

Posted at 6:26 AM, Aug 28, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- More than 3 million middle and high school students use e-cigarettes which is why the FDA is now calling it an epidemic.

So as you parents prepare to send your kids back to class, we went to the experts to see exactly how dangerous vaping could be plus what parents should be watching for with their kids.

"There`s a huge conversation with kids vaping in school and teachers, educators not knowing what they are doing so they can do it in a bathroom, they can do it in the back of a classroom and nobody really know what`s going on," said Lisa Knight, Director of the Grand Rapids Urban League Center For Health, Wellness and Youth.

Vaping can be hidden very easily and can be very addictive, even more than smoking traditional cigarettes.

"Most parents may think their kids are charging their USB in their computer but its actually the vaping device," Knight said.

"The realty that they don`t understand that it`s the same as smoking so when people ask like if they go to the doctor or dentist and they ask our young people, 'are you smoking?' they say no because they don`t attribute vaping to smoking," Knight said. But the realty is they are still getting nicotine into their system at a higher rate so one time of the sitting and vaping one jewel is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes at one time.

The FDA warns it`s not just water vapor that carries the nicotine, there are traces of metals as well as chemicals that provide flavor. harmful to all and especially dangerous for kids and teens.

Their brains aren`t fully developed and so it impacts their teeth and their skin their brain development so now with a chemical that they haven`t done the full research of the impact its going to have on their health its very scary to think where this is going to put them 10 years, 20 years down the line.

Knight says parents should not be scared to do a little digging to make sure they know what their kids are up to.

Kids are very crafty in the ways that they can hide things but these particular devices are as small as a USB half the size of a regular size USB so they can be hidden in sleeves, backpacks and even in their back pocket.

"Pay attention to your kids. pay attention to the changes that are happening to them, pay attention to their moods and don`t be afraid to search their rooms, we never know what`s going on, unless we ask," Knight said.