Monday, February 17, 2014

Rural teen e-cigarette use up; rural health group uses age progression to show prolonged effects

E-cigarettes were designed to help people quit smoking, but they have had a negative impact among teens; use has more than doubled in that age group from 2011-12, with more than 1.78 million—or 10 percent—of middle and high school students having tried e-cigarettes, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control. (Oswego County Today photo: Age progression software)

It doesn't help that the cigarettes come in flavors such as chocolate, gummy-bear and bubble-gum and that there is no federal age limit to buy e-cigarettes; many teens go online to get their supply, Jenny Lei Bolario reports for NPR. Traditional cigarettes taste too bitter, said Marleny Samayoa, an 8th grader, told Bolario. "It has kind of a weird taste to it, like coffee without sugar." That's why teens like Bolario and fellow eighth-grader Viviana Turincio like the candy flavors.  Turincio told Bolario, "My favorite flavor is gummy bears because it tastes really good." (Read more)

Some rural health groups are trying to cure students of using any kind of tobacco, whether it's smokeless, electronic cigarettes or traditional cigarettes. And if facts about what tobacco can do to a person's body aren't enough, nurses from Oswego Health are using age progression software to show students exactly what smoking will do their appearance, Debbie Groom reports for the Valley News in northwestern New York.

Using the software, "A picture was taken of a student in each class. On a computer screen the students were shown how their classmate would look if he/she smoked to age 65," Groom writes. "When the students were shown how unattractive their fellow student would look if he/she smoked until their mid-60s, most were quite surprised." Teacher Dan Stadtmiller told Groom, “When our students walk out into the real world, they tend to forget the dangers of smoking, and this helps them have a lasting impression." (Read more)

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