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Dripping' may be a new, dangerous trend for teens who vape
Ryan W. Miller , USA TODAY
February 6, 2017
One in four high school teens who have used e-cigarettes have also tried a potentially dangerous new vaping method called "dripping" — dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the device to produce thicker, more flavorful smoke — a new study found.
"Dripping," which differs from normal e-cigarette use that slowly releases the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, may expose users to higher levels of nicotine and to harmful non-nicotine toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — known carcinogens.
Sixty-four percent of the surveyed teens said they dripped for the thicker smoke, 39% for the better flavor and 28% for the stronger throat hit or sensation, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
"When people smoke cigarettes, they say they smoke it for, for lack of a better word, a tingling in the back of the throat," said Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, the study's lead author and a Yale professor of psychiatry who studies substance abuse behaviors.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat liquid and turn it into vapor — instead of smoke — which a person inhales. One of the primary concerns about e-cigarette use in teens is increased exposure to nicotine, Krishnan-Sarin said. E-cigarette liquids can contain varying levels of nicotine, and dripping could expose teens to higher levels of the drug, the study states.
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More People Using E-Cigarettes to Smoke Marijuana
By Join Together Staff | October 11, 2013
A growing number of people are smoking marijuana out of e-cigarettes, NBC New York reports. Marijuana in liquid and wax forms used in e-cigarettes and vapor pens does not create an odor. Because the devices don’t produce a flame, a person smoking marijuana in an e-cigarette can take a puff and then quickly put it in a pocket.
Local law enforcement officials and drug counselors are concerned about the trend, particularly in minors. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a survey that showed use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012. The CDC found 10 percent of high school students had tried an e-cigarette last year, compared with 5 percent the previous year. According to the survey, 1.8 million middle and high school students said they tried e-cigarettes last year.
Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, who heads the Narcotics Unit for the Nassau County Police Department in New York, said an officer arresting someone on a drug charge who has an e-cigarette is now directed to test the device for illegal drugs.
New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill last year which made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors. New York Governor Cuomo signed the bill in September 2012. “Once you try electronic cigarettes, you can become hooked to them, move on to cigarettes and then move on to other drugs,” Rosenthal said.