AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – There are major concerns about vaping across the country and here in the CSRA. Health officials are attributing severe pulmonary disease to the use of e-cigarettes. Now, the Georgia Cancer Center is working to help prevent young people from electronically lighting up.
Georgia Cancer Center Community Program Coordinator Amy McIntyre sat down with NewsChannel 6 to help push that warning.
“Our young people consider it a safe alternative to cigarettes.”
A few years ago more and more people began to light up electronically. But McIntyre said the fascination surrounding e-cigarettes, especially among youth still developing, is dangerous.
“There are toxins in the liquid that is put into e-cigarettes,” she explained. “It contains nicotine. It contains heavy chemicals, some heavy metals.”
Among high school kids, you will find a nearly 80 percent increase in vaping. And that increase is 50 percent for middle school students in the country. The Georgia Department of Health issued a high alert warning this month in response to the increasing number of severe pulmonary diseases reported in multiple states.
McIntyre said, “When an e-cigarette is heated and they vape, they inhale those substances very, very deeply in the lungs. And when young people do that to developing lungs it’s going to contribute to respiratory problems and have some long term affects.”
McIntyre added it only takes a year or two to see effects such as asthma, lung disease, and shortness of breath. But she said her office is working with the local school district and other groups to educate people in hopes of preventing these illnesses and ultimately death.
Photojournalist: Troy Robinson