ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - On the back of an announcement revealing an 18th death linked to vaping, an addiction treatment center in Angelina County is stepping up its efforts to share the serious health impacts e-cigarettes and vaping presents to younger users.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas is continuing its Lunch & Learn program to educate students on various Deep East Texas campuses about the dangers of vaping.
“So, we setup a table and this booth the children or the youth are able to come through and it’s interactive. And for instance, we’ll have them do a spin the wheel and we’ll ask them a tobacco related question," said Melanie Patterson, ADAC Program Manager.
Vaping displays are also included to provide the students with a visual representation of the harmful ingredients.
“People think that it’s just harmless water vapor and it is not, and it has many chemicals in it such as acetone, benzene and a numeral of other chemicals that make it harmful," said Patterson.
Patterson said they have seen a decrease in the usage of tobacco products and an increase in vaping in the area.
But she said her goal is to educate as many students and parents as possible through education to help raise awareness.
“We want parents to know and have the facts and be educated that the e-cigarettes and jewels are not safe. The cdc has come out recently that everyone needs to just cease and desist use of those items because of all of the hospitalizations, illnesses and even the deaths,” said Patterson.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, data from 2014 to 2018 revealed an increase each year in the use of flavored e-cigarettes by middle and high school students. More than 3 million teenagers admitted to using flavored nicotine products in 2018, with e-cigarettes topping the list, according to the CDC.