NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Vaping - How much do we really know about it? That's the problem. But new research shows some are experiencing health issues to do the new way to smoke.
The New York State Department of Health said 10 out of 15 cases of pulmonary disease related to vaping are in Western New York. The CDC is now teaming up with the FDA because of the cases where youth is ending up with lung damage after vaping. They're offering consultants to work with 16 states on those 153 cases that they know about. Each case involves a teenage or young adult.
But despite the danger, kids continue to be attracted to it. Kaleida Health says there's been an uptick in teens and kids being hospitalized because of respiratory issues related to vaping. With the new school year about to begin, how will schools take action?
"My sense, my anecdotal sense, is that vaping is way up in our schools grades 7-12," Niagara Falls City Schools Superintendent Mark Laurrie said.
It's showing up everywhere in school.
"The schools once again are called to do more than what they're supposed to do. More education on a topic than what we're entrusted to do like reading and math," said Laurrie.
All kinds of vaping products are already banned in schools, but they're easy to conceal and don't leave behind as strong of a sent as cigarettes.
"Any kind of nicotine product is a bad idea... If you don't know what's it is, you're looking for trouble. And if you do know what it is, then you know what trouble you're getting into," Andrew Hyland, the director of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, said. Some research into vaping has been conducted at the center.
Laurrie said the consequences for vaping in Niagara Falls Schools will shift from punishment based to educational.
"The consequences have to be like through some type of educational program and if a student and parent offered to do that, I'd be more than willing to remove their suspension as long as it was moving their health in the right direction," Laurrie said.
The goal is to get kids to stop vaping which Hyland argues is a clear cut addiction.
"You just think about it over and over every hour. Think of your mom, nagging you to c lean your room every hour on the hour. Homework, the whole thing. That's loss of control. That's what nicotine addiction does to you," Hyland said.