NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A secret danger posed by electronic cigarettes involves misusing the smokes to get a fast high.
As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, most adults may not know about it, but teenagers do.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that in 2013, 600,000 high school students admitted to using e-cigarettes. In 2014, the number more than tripled to 2,000,000.
For middle school students usage spiked from 120,000 to 450,000.
“Stores don’t sell them to kids under twenty-one, but you could have some older brother buy ’em. I know a lot of kids getting them like that,” Xavier High School student Jude Walter said.
E-cigarettes convert liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor without smoke or tar.
Experts said it’s too early to tell if e-cigarettes are as dangerous as traditional cigarettes.
“The answer is we don’t know. E-cigarettes are relatively new,” Gordan Strauss, Psychiatrist, Lenox Hill Hospital, said.
The report also found that fewer high school students are smoking traditional cigarettes. The number stayed the same for middle school students.
Still, doctors stressed that nicotine can be dangerous, no matter how young people get it into their bodies.
“Nicotine is harmful to the developing teenage brain,” Mitch Zeller, J.D. explained.
It is also very addicting, and has been fueling another frightening trend. Teens are drinking nicotine solution, mixing it with soda or juice to get an instant high.
“Starting down this road of playing with nicotine is really opening the door to all kinds of things,” a representative for the Spokane Regional Health District explained.
The FDA does not currently regulate e-cigarettes, but that is expected to change by June.