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Utah County health officials concerned about rise of vaping in schools

Posted at 11:50 AM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 13:50:22-04

UTAH COUNTY -- There are 47 cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping THC, nicotine or both in Utah, and health leaders in Provo are concerned about vaping trends in schools.

The number of teens bringing vaping devices to school is on the rise, and some devices are made to look like anything other than a vaporizer. The most popular vape device is Juul, which looks like a flash drive. Other devices look like mascara or lipstick tubes.

One in 10 teens in Utah vape regularly, and that number is expected to skyrocket. In Alpine School District, the number of cases involving vaping devices shot up from 12 in 2016 to 120 in 2017.

“We’ve had administrators share with us mods that have exploded on Utah County school property,” said Brittany Guerra of the Utah County Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program. “Some of the administrators have collected e-liquid from students, which is really concerning because the e-liquid bottle is something that you can add as much as you want into something, so you’re exposed to more nicotine than you might expect."

The Surgeon General encourages anyone under the age of 25 not to vape because nicotine exposure can impact learning and memory of a developing brain.

Health leaders are especially concerned because it can lead to addictive behaviors.