'The effects of the products on some of those cells are uncertain'

(File/SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - Just this year, Oregon upped the legal age to buy and sell e-cigarette products from 18 to 21.

On Tuesday, the Federal Drug Administration launched “The Real Cost” campaign in hopes of warning 10 million teenagers about the dangers of e-cigarettes – calling it an epidemic among teens.

Dr. Patrick Luedtke with Lane County Public Health says teen vaping in Oregon has nearly doubled within the last 5 years.

“So, teens are still growing their lungs are still growing, their bronchi are still growing, and the effects of the products on some of those cells are uncertain,” he says.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, middle and high schoolers who use e-cigs are nearly 31 percent more likely to start smoking cigarettes within 6 months, and 66 percent say their e-cig contains just flavoring.

“Clearly we have an issue around flavorings because people are attracted by piña colada flavoring or strawberry banana,” he says.

That’s why part of the new anti-vaping campaign aims to make e-cig marketing less attractive to teens.

The FDA says it will ask the top selling e-cig companies to submit plans within 60 days to address widespread youth access to e-cigarettes, among those being: JUUL, Vuse, Mark Ten, Blu E-Cig and Logic.

“There’s mercury, cadmium and lead in small amounts that have been found in these fluids,” he says.

Local school districts such as Eugene 4J and Springfield don’t allow vaping in schools.

But the FDA says it will target school bathrooms with posters showing an influx of e-cig chemicals going through a human body as well as post anti-vaping ads on social media in places teens will see.

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