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What parents should know about the ‘huge epidemic’ of vaping


(CNN) – With the news from the US Food and Drug Administration that vaping is skyrocketing among American youth, parents might be wondering how concerned they should be and what they should do if they catch their child using an e-cigarette.

The new numbers are staggering: Vaping increased nearly 80% among high schoolers and 50% among middle schoolers since last year.

Health experts say behavior changes are keys to look for, as more and more children and young adults become addicted to nicotine, causing physiological changes to their brain.

“It’s just this huge epidemic,” said Marcella Bianco, the program director for CATCH My Breath, which works to prevent the spread of e-cigarette use.

Steven Kelder, a professor of epidemiology with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston who also serves as a lead investigator for CATCH, said every parent needs to be aware of the dangers of vaping.

“Kids have a hard time quitting or even wanting to quit, thus causing family disturbances,” he said. “Nicotine interferes with parental relationships and pushes children towards delinquent behavior. Raising a teen is hard enough without nicotine addiction.”

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