WASHINGTON, D.C. (GRAY TV) - Vaping is at crisis levels across the nation, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Some doctors are especially worried about children getting addicted to nicotine on e-cigarettes.
“We don’t want them to think that the nicotine products are okay. They are harmful,” said Jacqueline Fincher, the President-Elect of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Fincher says electronic cigarettes and vape pens are endangering a generation of children, and she says the design and the marketing aren’t helping.
“Oh this is cool, it’s safer and it’s clean and it’s slick and it’s a little flash drive and it’s electronic and you can get it in bubble gum flavor,” said Dr. Fincher.
Dr. Fincher says doctors also don’t know all the health impacts yet.
“As we’ve seen lately, the intense concern about lung injury, are they going to develop all the things that we see particularly in tobacco-related illnesses with cancers, COPD, asthma?" said Dr. Fincher.
President-Elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics Dr. Sara Goza says the latest data shows at least a quarter of all high schoolers use e-cigarettes.
“It’s escalating,” said Dr. Goza. “We are going to see a new generation addicted to nicotine if we don’t stop it now.”
Doctors say these e-cigarettes are so addicting, it’s hard to break the habit. So, some House and Senate lawmakers are fighting the crisis on Capitol Hill too.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn is praising the House for passing a bill to make it harder for children to buy e-cigarettes online.
“I know it’s pervasive,” said Senator Cornyn. “I’m worried about people doing long-term damage to themselves. Keeping those out of the hands of children I think aught to be a priority for all of us.”
The bill blocking e-cigarette sales to children is now in the Senate.