High schoolers picking up new smoking-related habit

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) Teenagers may be warned about the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but some are choosing a different option that experts say can be just as problematic.

"E-cigarettes contain nicotine just like cigarettes do," said Cherlyn McGhee, co-owner of the DC Stop Smoking Center. "And yes they claim they don't have the carcinogens in them that cigarettes have.. but nicotine is not a good product to put in your body."

The Center for Disease Control found 1.28 million high school students tried electronic cigarettes in 2012, which is twice as many as in 2011.

Teenagers say they think the e-cigarettes carry less of a health risk.

"The vapor cigarettes aren't an addiction, but the real cigarettes are," said Eric Jarrin, a junior at Grand Junction High School who smokes both cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

McGhee says no matter how it is consumed, nicotine is an addictive substance that can lead to a host of health effects such as heart attack and stroke.

"When you're young the consequences don't seem to be there, but as you get older it accumulates," said McGhee. "I'm telling you they're going to have a hard time getting off the drug, so it's best just to not use it at all."

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