Students learn about dangers of vaping, tobacco use

LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - With teenagers vaping at alarming rates and the fact that not much is known about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes, representatives from the American Cancer Society are talking directly to students.

“We’re just trying to inform all these kids on the consequences of vaping and smoking and the harms of that,” says Will McCarty, who is on the junior executive board for the American Cancer Society.

The representatives also talked about the dangers of any product that contains nicotine and that e-cigarette advertisements often get the attention of middle and high school students.

“It’s big, I mean, it’s super tempting, and like I said [e-cigarette advertisements are] catering to the youth in particular, I mean, ‘it smells good, and it tastes good, and it’s fun,’” McCarty says.

According to the American Cancer Society, e-cigarettes containing nicotine can harm one’s brain growth.

“The most important takeaway is that our bodies are still developing and we don’t know what’s in these completely yet, and they’re harmful for our bodies especially, like I said, while they are still developing,” McCarty says.

Other than vaping, the representatives also spoke to students about the dangers of tobacco use and how it could lead to cancers that are common but easily preventable.

“The biggest one is lung cancer, and it’s a very preventable cancer,” McCarty says. “Since it’s so preventable and it’s still at the top of the list somehow, we’re just trying to raise awareness for that.”

Vaping has led to one death in Mississippi and one death in Alabama in 2019.