Health officials: Teens, parents need to know dangerous of vaping

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Illustrations of certain types of electronic cigarettes. (CDC)

What may look like a typical school supply, like a flash drive, could actually be an electronic cigarette. Schools and parents now have to address this issue because vaping is everywhere.

An estimated 11.7 percent of high school students and 3.3 percent of middle school students used e-cigarettes in 2017, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey. That is more than 2.1 million kids.

JUUL is the most popular vape brand. The term "JUULing" sounds harmless enough. But each pod, which gives about 200 puffs, is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. And nicotine is not the only harmful substance that can be found in e-cigs.

Many children and parents are unaware of the dangers found in vapes, according to Dr. Cathy Ward, a pediatrician.

"There are so many different additives to it. Additives, chemicals, solvents, the flavoring, the formaldehyde at higher voltages, and the little, tiny particles of metal."

As the prevalence of vaping grows, parents need to be on the lookout.

"The problem is, it's hitting young kids who are basically healthy," Dr. Ward said. "We may not have long-term information for a long time."