Vaping may pose an even higher danger than we thought.

The state Health Department is investigating 15 cases of possible vaping-related illness and they’ve just posted an online warning for parents, teachers, coaches and healthcare providers about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Citing information and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
the information points out e-cigarettes and vaping materials contain what are described as “harmful or potentially harmful substances.”

Karen Blumenfeld, the executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, or GASP, pointed out these substance are mixed with flavorings and other chemicals and then heated to make an aerosol that is inhaled.

“There are many hazardous components and they vary from product to product, manufacturer to manufacturer," she said.

She applauded the public awareness campaign that’s been launched but also noted “the risk of e-cigarettes is not only to young people, it’s to all people."

Vaping has been touted as a safer alternative to the smoke of cigarettes. But Blumenfeld said vaping is considered so dangerous there should be stricter federal regulations instituted.

“There have been studies that show it’s hazardous to breath in second hand vapor smoke," she said.

The Health Department webpage notes that scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.

Blumenfeld also pointed out health care costs for tobacco use have cost New Jersey billions of dollars, but we have no idea yet what the financial cost of vaping will turn out to be.

While cigarette use among Jersey teens has declined over the past 20 years, e-cigarette and vaping is gaining popularity, particularly among high school students.

The state saw a sharp increase in e-cigarette use in 2014, when e-cigarettes surpassed traditional cigarettes among New Jersey high school students. In 2016, rates of e-cigarette use remained higher than traditional cigarettes.

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