A growing trend in the vaping world has medical officials worried about the health and futures of some of our teens. It’s called dripping and it could threaten the growth of adolescents who take part.
Dripping essentially is a quicker process than traditional vaping and it gives a stronger hit. The e-liquid is dropped directly onto the heating coil in the e-cigarette, then the vapor is immediately inhaled. The overall process has those in public health concerned.
18-year-old Justin Newhause credits vaping to helping him quit smoking which he did as a minor.
“My uncle actually introduced me to vaping because he did not like me smoking cigarettes,” he said.
He now drips with his friend Richard Drennen.
“With dripping it’s a harder throat hit, the flavors are way better and I just like building my own coils and stuff, it’s fun,” said Drennen.
Both have already graduated high school but researchers have found one in 4 high school students who use e-cigarettes have tried dripping.
“Any time a teen is involved in a risky behavior, it’s of a concern to public health,” said Bruce Adkins, Director of the Office of Community Health Systems and Health Promotion for the Bureau of Public Health.
There’s not much research available on dripping’s effects, but his big concern along with others in the field is that dripping leads to a stronger nicotine hit.
“Nicotine is an addictive product, it does do harm to the body. We know nicotine is very very harmful to the development of youths’ brain,” said Adkins. That’s just part of the reason Justin and Richard don’t suggest it to minors, on top of the fact it’s also illegal for those under 18.
“It’s obviously not a good thing for minors to vape or smoke,” said Newhause.
The Bureau for Public Health does a youth tobacco survey every two years. It will be asking about e-cigarette use and dripping in West Virginia. That survey will begin in just a couple of weeks.