Experts warn of growing trend, teens vaping marijuana

Branson, MO. -- Some medical experts say vaping has become a big problem among teens. They’re often vaping dangerous levels of nicotine, chemicals, and even marijuana.

A recent survey at one school in the Branson area revealed that more than 40 percent of students had vaped within the last month. One expert at CoxHealth calls it a dangerous trend.

As Cox's Community Educator, Jim Brawner often works with teens who use e-cigarettes.

"They may make the comment to me, 'I'm not addicted.' I say, 'Ok, how many pods are you doing in a day?' They say 'Oh, two or three.' So, that's a two or three pack a day habit," Brawner said.

However, it's not only nicotine that the local kids with whom he works are inhaling, but also marijuana.

"And, in all cases, every one has ingested marijuana through a vape," Brawner said.

Brawner says with the vaping industry still largely unregulated, the legalization of medical marijuana could make it easier for kids to continue to use harmful vaping products.

"What we really are going to see from here until then, unless the devices are made safer, is the Wild West as far as usage of those and using whatever in those until those become regulated. It's just a slow process." Brawner said.

Meanwhile, Ginney Foil, founder of Your Sunshine Company which sells CBD and vaping products, agrees that THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, can be dangerous.

"You're going to also see people being lethargic. I don't want anyone of my staff working with my clients stoned," Foil said.
She was opposed to legalization and so was Tina Harris who uses CBD for her health.

"Understand the difference between psychoactive cannabinoids and non-psychoactive cannabinoids. As myself, I wanted to be healthy, no high," Harris said.

That's why they, too, are urging people to understand the effects of marijuana and monitor what they're kids are vaping.

"I've seen what the higher levels of THC can do," Harris said.

Brawner urges parents to become educated about vaping and talk with their kids about the dangers. Below are some websites that help parents talk with their kids about stopping vaping.

www.smokefree.gov
www.truthinitiative.org