New study finds ‘dripping’ by e-cigarettes on the rise in teen users

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A new study out of the journal Pediatrics says one in four teens who vape are also "dripping.”

Dripping as an alternative method to vaping has become more popular in the last three to four years with electronic cigarettes, according to the study.

“It just makes the side effects, that we aren't sure exactly what they are yet, even worse because you're heating that liquid at a higher temperature, that means more toxins release, some of those toxins are definitely carcinogenic,” said The Utah State Health Department’s marketing manager for Tobacco Prevention and Control, Brittany Karzen.

She said when someone “drips” they are heating up the e-cigarette chemicals to a higher temperature allowing more chemicals to concentrate down and allowing for more chemicals to be inhaled.

The study also said the chemicals in electronic cigarettes contain propylene glycol, glycerin, plus flavored chemicals. It said they are all volatile and when heated one can produce high levels of carcinogenic compounds.

“It's still vaping, you're just heating the e-liquid to a hotter temperature, therefore, producing more vapor,” explained Tad Jensen, president of Utah Smoke-Free Association. “We've never claimed that vaping is safe. It's like I said, putting things in your lungs is no good at all. “We do claim it's a much safer alternative and that has been proven by over 200-page study by the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.

Jensen has been using e-cigarettes for six years. He spends about $25 a week on his e-liquid. Before 2011, he was smoking one or two packs of traditional cigarettes a day.

“It changed my life,” said Jensen. “I felt it mostly with my cardiovascular health. I had trouble just walking up a staircase, I’d always opt for an elevator- and I was in decent shape back then. After I stopped using regular cigarettes, and started with e-cigarettes, after a few months I didn’t have trouble walking up a flight of stairs, and now my doctor said my lungs don’t look like I ever had a smoking problem. That is how much e-cigarettes have helped me. It’s not perfect because I am still inhaling those chemicals but at a much more reduced rate.”

Dripping is easy to do, Jensen said, but you would have to install the coils yourself, a shop would not help you.

Jensen and his association’s executive director have been disappointed in the Utah state legislature to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers.

“I'm disappointed in our legislature,” said Jensen. “The reason why is there are no penalties for these kids when they get caught using these products. We also in the state of Utah have no age verification mandate. The state claims that by raising the taxes it will discourage underage youth I disagree heavily with that statement and the reason why is e-cigarette products are already significantly more expensive than traditional tobacco cigarettes.”

While Jensen is not thrilled with the study’s results seeing a rise in “dripping” and he does not want teens to use these products, he does want adults to know, traditional cigarettes are far more dangerous for your body.

“Dripping does get to a hotter temperature obviously once again not super healthy for your lungs but it's still safer. That's what we call it. A safer alternative. If you've never smoked before don't pick up vaping.”