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Vaping Teens Also Practice The More Dangerous ‘Dripping’

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There’s a rising trend among e-cigarette users, and a survey finds that teens make up the largest group who practice “dripping.” According to research, one in four high school students who have tried e-cigarettes have also tried this new vaping method.

Dripping is when e-cigarette liquid is dropped directly onto the hot coils of an e-cigarette to produce thicker, more flavor-filled smoke, USA Today reports. This is different from the normal vaping method that slowly releases the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, and is more dangerous. Dripping exposes users to higher levels of nicotine, as well as to harmful toxins such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde – both known carcinogens.

Among the teens surveyed, 64% said they dripped for the thicker smoke, 39% said it was for the heightened flavor, while 28% said it was for a stronger hit.

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, a professor of psychiatry who studies substance abuse behaviors at Yale University and lead author on the study, said,

When people smoke cigarettes, they say they smoke it for, for lack of a better word, a tingling in the back of the throat.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that people use in lieu of tobacco cigarettes. One of the main concerns against its use is the increased exposure to nicotine a user gets, Krishnan-Sarin explained. Liquids used in these vaping products contain different levels of nicotine, and dripping means teens are exposed to higher levels of it. Krishnan-Sarin noted, “The teen brain has been shown especially sensitive to nicotine.”

Despite the health warnings, the use of e-cigarettes has increased in popularity, along with other alternative smoking devices. These encourage smoking tricks, where vapor patterns can be produced with thicker clouds, Krishnan-Sarin said.

The study, conducted in Connecticut, found that among 1,874 students, 1,080 had tried vaping. Among them, 282 or 26% had also tried dripping. The practice was most prevalent among white males and those who had also tried tobacco products or vaped often in the past month.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

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