The new teen epidemic

Robert Blue Middle School and Eagle Grove High School students watched a presentation lately on the dangers of Juuling and vaping in hopes to discourage them from trying e-cigarettes. Photo by Kim Demory

What started off with the best intentions has turned into a teenage epidemic. E-cigarettes were first introduced to the market in the United States in 2007 as a way to help cigarette smokers kick the habit in the “butt.”

In 2013, their popularity began to grow amongst the non-smoking population for recreational use. Only four years later, according to the Child Mind Institute, e-cigarettes had become the most frequently used form of tobacco among adolescents — with reportedly some 2.1 million middle and high school students using e-cigarettes in 2017, — far surpassing traditional combustible cigarettes and bringing in $1.7 billion in revenue. With all the terminology out there, it may be a bit confusing - Juuling, vaping, e-cigarettes... what’s the difference?

E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are also known as e-vaporizers (vapes, vaping). Vaping is defined as the act of inhaling and exhaling what is believed to be water vapor, but is actually an aerosol, which contains small toxic particles.

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