BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - After a recent report about possible death by vaping - health officials are keeping their communities informed about their concerns.
The director of the Tobacco Education Program at the Butte County Public Health Department said in just one year there's been a 78% increase nationwide in high school students vaping.
"I'm not shocked to be honest I've just been waiting for this information to come out its just a matter of time that somebody died from vaping," Colin Jones said who's been vaping for 3 years.
"The concern is that some people think that vapes are healthier than combustible cigarettes and we just don't know," Project director Ellen Michels said.
Michels said there hasn't been enough research done to know. What they do know is there are dangerous chemicals in the vapes that aren't meant to be inhaled.
"It's not just water vapor it's an aerosol with chemicals known to cause respiratory distress," Michels said.
Michels says one in five high school students are vaping nationwide.
"It's been called an epidemic," Michels said.
Action News Now asked Jones if he thinks vaping is better than smoking cigarettes.
"I mean you smell better you taste things again but I definitely have a better lung capacity than when I was a smoker," Jones said.
Jones quit smoking cigarettes three years ago and has been vaping ever since.
"I don't feel like its good for you technically there's still nicotine you're still inhaling chemicals into your lungs," he said.
Michels says sometimes kids don't know that what they're smoking has nicotine.
"We're seeing kids get addicted at a young age and that's setting them up to be lifetime smokers," Michels said.
"I think that's awful I think marketing any addictive product towards children is terrible and its just tryna to get them hooked at a younger age I mean they have all the fruit flavors and all that kind of stuff," Jones said.
"Just be aware of what your kids have and what they're doing and talk to them about it make sure they know it's not safe," Michels said.
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