UT lung specialist talks warns of teen vaping and e-cigarettes

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. A new warning says there could be a link to lung disease by smoking electronic cigarettes and vaping.

It's especially dangerous for young adults who pick up the habit from their peers, officials say.

Nicotine in e-cigarettes can lead to a higher risk of cigarette smoking.

The University of Tennessee lung expert, Dr. Elise Schriver, said there's great concern about nicotine addiction in young people.

"The Surgeon General has recently published a report that is very concerning that one out of five high school students and one out of 20 middle school students are using e-cigarettes or vaping," explained Dr. Schriver.

Dr. Schriver said nicotine addiction could have permanent effects on youth memory and decision making skills, and it could even increase their risk of addiction to other substances.

"And we think that young people, whose brains are still developing, are probably more susceptible to the addictive effects of nicotine and will easily set them up for a lifelong addiction," said Dr. Schriver.

That can lead to smoking cigarettes, possibly lung damage or even early death.

"I think it is potentially very dangerous and very addictive," said Schriver, "And I would do anything to have my children not go down that road."

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