In early November, Lauren Williams, a teacher from McCracken High School, and several students decamped to the offices of Kentucky state senator Danny Carroll to tell him about the vaping problem in the district. As an indication of the problem, Williams procured photos of backpack contraband: pods, e-cigarettes, chargers, the rare pack of cigarettes, nicotine-coated toothpicks, and individually wrapped pieces of nicotine gum.
“Either the students are using that to get the nicotine—what small amount of nicotine is in it—or they’re trying to curb their cravings until after school where they can use their Juuls,” Williams says.
The biggest fallout so far from the rise in vaping among teens is that many may now be addicted to nicotine. In the first week of December, the CDC released findings that roughly 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle schoolers used an electronic cigarette in the past 30 days. “Importantly, more than half of current youth tobacco product users reported seriously thinking about quitting all tobacco products in 2019,” the report said. (Electronic cigarettes are considered tobacco products.)
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