(WTRF) – It’s safer than cigarettes. At least, that’s what consumers were told about vaping for the longest time, but health officials say it’s definitely not safe. 

Now, a new study shows West Virginia is obsessed with vaping.

The research done by ProVape looked at Google trends data of search terms like “vape shop”, “vaping” and “vape”.

It found that the Mountain State is the most vape obsessed in America.

Doctor’s say that is problematic. Vaping is just as addictive as cigarettes because there’s still nicotine in them. 

In a state like West Virginia with so many other dominant health problems, doctors at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital say high numbers of vaping make sense. 

We’re number one in heart disease prevalence. We’re number one in COPD emphysema. We’re number three in cancer and we’re number two in who uses nicotine, so it doesn’t surprise me that you’re going to see a lot of search for vape and vape related devices.

Dr. C. Clark Milton, Medical Director of Corporate Health, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

The CDC is watching vaping numbers in young people, saying the country is in an “epidemic”. 

So, what can we do?

Dr. Milton said it’s vital to educate young people before they start using so they don’t get addicted. 

We have to educate our youth that this is not a safer delivery device for nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive.

Dr. C. Clark Milton, Medical Director of Corporate Health, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

Juul to pay nearly $440M to settle states’ teen vaping probe

He also noted a recent settlement where e-cigarette maker Juul will pay $440 million to multiple states after being accused of marketing its product to teens.