Lung injuries linked to vaping disproportionately affects young people

VIDEO: Lung injuries linked to vaping disproportionately affects young people

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Clint Vines has a passion for performing, and if that wasn’t already impressive, he sings too.

It’s a lifelong love he’s passed down to his 5-year-old son Tucker.

While Vines is glad his son looks up to him when it comes to music, there’s a habit he doesn’t want to pass along - smoking.

It’s a habit he started as a teen.

Now, he’s trying a new approach to quitting.

“I chose to start vaping because I needed something that didn’t hurt my throat as much,” said Clint Vines. “When I went to the JUUL - I use a JUUL - I have no issues and can sing better. I have a higher range and don’t get winded as often.”

What Vines sees as one of the benefits of vaping, health educators like Amanda Kennedy see as one of the unfortunate reasons so many underage kids have taken it up.

“The PH balance in e-cigarettes is more acidic, and when something is more acidic, in our body it feels smoother,” said Amanda Kennedy. “So it doesn’t burn as bad, so youth don’t understand. ‘Oh, it’s not really doing anything to me.’ So the harm is almost masked.”

According to the CDC, more than one in four high school students vape, but it isn’t just teens coming in contact with the flavored liquids that contain nicotine.

Toddlers are getting a hold of the liquid, which is toxic for them.

Health professionals say vaping is relatively new, so they don’t know the long term affects it’s having on kids and teenagers, but they do know what nicotine does to a developing brain.

Imagine for a second that a Rubik’s Cube is a young person’s brain. Once they become addicted to nicotine, the chemistry in the brain changes, which can affect their mood and ability to learn.

Unlike a Rubik’s Cube, once the damage is done they are never able to match the colors up again.

When it comes to helping youth who have become addicted to nicotine, pediatricians can’t prescribe nicotine patches or gum or inhalers to kids under the age of 18.

So, they have to teach them behavior modifications to help them kick their habit instead.

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