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Teaching Teens Potential Harms of Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are gaining popularity in teens and young adults. Some local organizations like the McMillan Center are working to lower the numbers here in Allen County because according to them it could be a gateway to smoking conventional cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are gaining popularity in teens and young adults.  Some local organizations like the McMillan Center are working to lower the numbers here in Allen County because according to them it could be a gateway to smoking conventional cigarettes.

Despite a recently passed law that makes it illegal to sell E-cigarettes to Hoosiers under the age of 18, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the percentage of middle and high school students using E-cigs have doubled from 2011 to 2012.  Partner organizations in Allen County say they don't want this happening to their youth.

The McMillan Center for Health, the Urban League, and Tobacco Free Allen County are partnering to bring the voice to local youth.  CEO Holli Seabury of the McMillan Center for Health explains.

"The Voice Program is an advocacy program teaching youth about how they're being marketed to and really having them design projects that reach out to other youth that say hey this is going on and this is not okay with us."

E-cigarettes are battery operation devices that contain different levels of nicotine.  The product heats up a liquid that when exhaled, turns to vapor.  Jill Leal with Tobacco Free Allen County says the hundreds of flavors appeal to the youth.

"Cherry, bubblegum, cotton candy.  I don't know many adults that say they want to inhale something that tastes like cotton candy.  They're really gearing towards the kids and our youth."

Leal says parents should know that E-cigarettes can also contain similar chemicals used to make a car run.

"This is not an FDA regulated product so we don't really know what's in them but we do know that according to the FDA, there are known toxins and chemicals like anti-freeze."

The CDC Survey also found that 76% of students who used E-cigarettes also smoked conventional cigarettes at the same time.


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