High Percentage of Montana High School Students Currently Using E-Cigs, Warns Health Department
The Montana Department of Health and Human Services is trying to warn Montana youth and parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. According to epidemiologist Lisa Schmidt recent Montana health surveys show a huge portion of high school students are using the products.
"We have the 2015 data where our numbers seem very high and we think they are probably very high compared to the US, but we wont know that until this summer when the National Statistics from that same survey come available," said Schmidt. "We know that over 50% of Montana youths have tried an electronic vapor product and we know that 30% of Montana High School youths are currently using them."
Montana Tobacco Use prevention Program Manager Jennifer Ullman says the use of traditional tobacco projects has been declining for years, but the surge in e-cigarette use is concerning and dangerous.
"One thing we think parents need to know is that these devices are unregulated," said Ullman. "We don't know enough about the chemical contents in the product, but we do know they contain nicotine. Nicotine is very dangerous for the developing brains of adolescents so the nicotine in itself is enough to be concerned about."
Montana began regulating the sale of E-cigarettes to minors on January 1 of this year, but the devices are so new, that federal agencies like the FDA have not yet put regulations in place.