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How teens across the country are reacting to news of vaping dangers

After reporting that a 40-year-old man died over the weekend due to vaping, the state of California is launching an ad campaign to warn against the dangers of the practice. Federal health officials are also urging people not to vape, but the practice has soared among teenagers in recent years. Our Student Reporting Labs asked teens around the country for their response to the news and warnings.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    A seventh person has died from lung illness related to vaping. California health officials reported that a 40-year-old man died this weekend. The state is launching an ad campaign to warn against the dangers and risks of vaping. And other states and cities are contemplating bans on some e-cigarettes.

    Federal health officials have said individuals should stop vaping until more is known.

    Vaping and the use of e-cigarettes, of course, has soared among teens in the past few years.

    Our Student Reporting Labs around the country asked teens for their response to the news and to the warnings. We received hundreds of responses.

    Here's just a sampling of what we heard.

  • Ronnie Mendez:

    I don't think people are really thinking about vaping. It's just kind of one of those things that they get addicted to, and they don't really care what others have to say.

  • Carolos Wylde-Gladbach:

    If your friends are vaping at a party and stuff like that, you're not going to say no.

  • Madi Marks:

    A lot of people I know do vape, and they're starting to stop because of this epidemic.

  • Christopher Jaimes:

    A lot of people are just paranoid right now. They're wondering who's next. You know, I'm pretty sure a lot of them are throwing theirs out right now.

  • Brian Jackson:

    I mean, even on like Snapchat, there's viral videos of people, you know, destroying their vapes and stuff like that.

  • Madi Marks:

    I also know of a kid myself that goes to our neighboring high school that actually had a seizure and passed out from vaping. And so it kind of hits close to home, because it's like your own people that you know that are in danger of this.

  • Kelsey Josephson:

    I'm deathly afraid that, one morning, I'm going to wake up, and they're not going to be here.

  • Whitney Hentsch:

    I know there's even like parents out there that will buy their kids these products because they don't realize how severe, that this, like, can lead to you being in the hospital.

  • Brian Jackson:

    Most of the time, when people buy vapes, they buy it from their friends, rather than actual outlets.

  • Allison Jacobs:

    I think that these retail stores are also selling to underage kids illegally and getting away with it. They're not carding or anything.

  • Estefany Cortes:

    There's people, you know, they call them plugs. So you just go to your plug. And you're like, oh, I want a pen or I want a Juul. You know, can you get it for me? As well as with weed. And it's basically the same thing, just nicotine.

  • Aldrine Ssentongo:

    You have a choice whether to use something or not. You can't blame another person for your own selfish desires.

  • Annette Rooney:

    Juul could make their products less appealing to younger audiences, but it's our decision to buy them.

  • James Thompson:

    I did something unhealthy for so long, and now it's hurting me? That's crazy.

  • Gwyneth Collart:

    I'm very scared of getting sick from it, getting hospitalized. So, I think, at least in my friend group, most of us just want to, like, cut it out completely and just stop.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We want to thank all of those young people for speaking so candidly just now about vaping.

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