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Virginia Department of Health Issues First-Ever Back-To-School Vaping Warning

Brian Nicholls, Franchise Owner, 7-Eleven Store
Brian Nicholls, Franchise Owner, 7-Eleven Store (Photo: Charles Fishburne/VPM)

The Virginia Department of Health has issued its first-ever back-to-school warning about e-cigarette use or “vaping.” 

Brian Nicholls, Owner:   We got JUUL, we got Blue, we got...

Fishburne:  Even neighborhood 7-Elevens now stock them, but owner Brian Nicholls says:

Nicholls:   You got to be 21, you got to prove it before you can buy it.

Fishburne:  Yet the Centers for Disease Control says almost 21% of middle school and high-school-age students have tried them often get them from older students.

Jayne Flowers, Virginia Department of Health:  We know that many teens are still accessing these nicotine products.

Fishburne:    And Jayne Flowers, Virginia Department of Health, says there are dangers.

Flowers:  We have known for a long time about the dangers of smoking traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products and we have been warning about dangers associated possibly with e-cigarettes or vaping.  It is not a water vapor as many young people and parents believe.  It is not a flavored water vapor.  It does have many chemicals and those chemicals have been associated with a variety of problems in the past.  However, this summer, a severe lung illness has been linked to vaping.  It has been mostly in people in their late teens and twenties.  And across the nation, so far, 193 cases of severe lung illnesses have been recognized. To date, one person has died and that was in Illinois.  But all these patients have a history of vaping.

Fishburne:  Three cases have been confirmed so far in Virginia, but she expects more.

Flowers:  We are encouraging parents to please talk to students as they return to school this year and to…for anyone who has been vaping to recognize the dangers that we have now found associated with that activity.

The state does have a support site at QuitNow.net.

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