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[KHTS] – As vaping in Santa Clarita continues to gain popularity among local youth, experts from the Santa Clarita drug and alcohol rehab center Action Family Counseling are showing concern about the potentially harmful effects of the new trend.

ecig_vaping“Right now vaping is the biggest thing there is– it’s huge right now,” said Cary Quashen, Action’s founder. “I think some of the reason why e-cigarettes and vaping was brought out was to help people get out of tobacco, but what we’re finding is people that would have never smoked in general are now vaping. It’s so attractive to these kids.”

Because vaping is so new, there is little information available regarding the potential health risks associated with the practice or if vaping is better or worse for users than cigarettes.

“We don’t know the real effects yet; it’s so new,” Quashen said. “People are saying it’s not as harmful (as cigarettes) because there’s not as many chemicals, and that could possibly be true. But again, who knows the long term effects, because it’s so new.”

While many see vaping as simply inhaling a “harmless” water vapor, the California Department of Public Health’s website, Stillblowingsmoke.org, states the practice is far from harmless.

E-cigarettes used for vaping emit an aerosol that can cause lung irritation and a variety of respiratory problems, according to the website.

In addition, the H20 component of e-cigarettes generally also contains propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine, liquid carriers for nicotine. Though these properties are classified as “safe” by the FDA if ingested, inhalation can be harmful to airways, even causing asthma attacks in children.

Further, the FDA-approved flavoring agents contained in e-cigarettes may be safe to eat, but have been shown to damage lung tissue over time.

Despite these alarming findings, the popularity of vaping is “exploding” in cities like Santa Clarita, according to Quashen.

“Vape shops are popping up everywhere,” he said. “The scary thing is, it’s just like everything else: the gateway drug to substance abuse. Everybody always says it’s pot– no, it’s cigarettes. Now more and more kids are starting out vaping that would never have smoked, so it just throws another wrench in the mess.”

Because of the prominence of social media and a lack of parental involvement with today’s youth, peer pressure to try things like vaping is also at an all-time high.

“The last thing a kid 12 and up does before they go to sleep? On social media with their friends,” Quashen said. “The very first thing they do when they wake up– before they go to the bathroom –is check their social media. There’s so little parental involvement versus peer pressure today.”

Quashen believes the way only way to stop potentially harmful trends like vaping from growing is for parents to get involved with their kids, especially at a young age.

“We need to really let our kids know, set up boundaries for our kids when they’re little,” he said. “Right now, we spend so little time with our kids that parents don’t even know what’s happening until it’s happened. So as parents, we really need to spend time with our kids. We need to stay in tune with them, and we need to check in, not out.”

Action Family Counseling is a Santa Clarita drug and alcohol rehab center. Action has drug and alcohol residential treatment locations in Santa Clarita, Piru and Bakersfield, as well as intensive drug and alcohol outpatient programs in Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Ventura, Pasadena and Bakersfield. Action Family Counseling supports and reinforces changes in behavior patterns so that adolescents and adults, or clients and their families, can fully indoctrinate the philosophies and principles needed to remain abstinent and stabilized for life.

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3 Comments

  1. Byron Houston says:

    Wow this is worse than the crap that Fox News spurts. Report facts not opinions. No more spun “might do this” or asserting false assumptions like “gateway to substance abuse.” I would rather my kid vape than smoke and it’s likely they’ll try both. Not seeing the correlation between vaping and substance abuse. Also not seeing why our present government thinks it’s any of their business to impose any regulation other than not selling to minors. Sincerely… Annoyed!

  2. Byron Houston says:

    who paid this person to spread lies about vaping? Where is she getting her information? What studies does she have to back her statements? Why is this outlet reporting one persons opinion without checking facts or providing any counter? This shouldn’t even be news. Leave it alone, or even better: check the facts on the .org and see if what they are saying on the state website has any validity.

  3. Hardin Rich says:

    Talk about one sided journalism! “We don’t know the real effects yet; it’s so new” If it is unknown then it is far better not to speculate. I’ve had it with so many like these who are “concerned” for our health and safety and so quick to want not only to “inform” us but laws to “protect” us. Go get a life and get out of ours!

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