More than 3 million youth use tobacco products

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:38 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A study released by the FDA and CDC, found that nationwide more than 3 million middle and high school students use tobacco products.

It’s unsafe for adolescents to use any form of tobacco, as the products contain nicotine which is highly addictive and harmful to their brains. Additionally, those who use nicotine when they’re young, face an increased risk for future addiction to other drugs.

Various socioeconomic factors; such as home life and experimentation, can also influence tobacco use in children and teens.

“But the younger they start it tends to be curiosity and because of the adults in their life modeling it. They see parental use or older adults, or older people they look up to that are smoking or vaping. As they start getting older, it tends to be learning that it may be a way to cope and deal with issues,” said Michele Brink-Gluhosky, executive director for Lifeways, an adolescent substance abuse treatment center.

The study assessed eight commercial tobacco products used by middle and high schoolers. Once again, e-cigarettes lead the pack for the ninth year in a row.

“We explain to kids that if you sprayed hair spray on your hand there would be a sticky residue afterwards and you’d have to wash your hands to get that off your hands. Where if you just sprayed water on your hand or mist it would dry and be fine,” said Brink-Gluhosky.

E-cigarettes are commonly seen as less dangerous because there is a misconception that it is only water inside the container and not nicotine.

She explained, “That’s the same with when you breathe it in, you’re breathing in this aerosolized product that is not just a vape, it’s got very tiny particles in it that do damage to the lungs and all parts of the body.”