E-Cigs

Dangerous trend: Teens using e-cigarettes for 'dripping'

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Fewer teens are smoking cigarettes but the number of them vaping has tripled.

"Vaping, e-cigs, dripping, juiling, modding -- they are all similar." said Stephanie Siete of Community Bridges, an organization that provides integrated medical and behavior health care.

These are the words associated with the newest battery-operated devices that turn nicotine or other chemicals into vapes.

"This is the evolution of nicotine," Siete said.

The latest alternative technique teens are using is called dripping.

So what is dripping? With traditional e-cigs, the cartridge is self-contained and the e-cig produces an inhalable vapor by gradually drawing liquid into a heating coil.

With dripping, it's more hands on. The user has to manually drop the liquid onto the coil which creates a cloud of vapor they immediately inhale.

That drop gives a faster, more intense and higher dose of nicotine to the user.

"So, imagine that if you took all of that in; you're sucking in almost one cigarette at one time." Dr. Frank LoVecchio, a toxicology specialist with Banner Health, said.

That higher concentration of nicotine can be dangerous.

"It can cause seizures; it can cause you to go comatose; it can cause your heart rate to rise quickly," LoVecchio explained.

And because dripping is a hands-on activity, there can be operator error.

"If any of that [liquid] seeps down on your skin or the product and you put it in your mouth, there have been a lot if accidental poisonings," Siete said.

Once on the skin, the liquid is immediately absorbed.

"The more nicotine you get, the more likely you are to be addicted," LoVecchio said. "The more addicted you are, the more you want to consume it and the more your body is going to want it."

So, what can parents do?

"Know what vaping is," Siete advised. "Ask the question of your teen and have a conversation with them. Know that it doesn’t smell like smoke. It’s a fragrance, like blueberries or bananas. Just get educated and be in the know."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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An award-winning journalist, Ashlee has worn many hats in her career, one-woman-band, executive producer, anchor, reporter and morning traffic reporter. However, her main focus and passion is weather.

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