EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Local teens say they have seen their peers start experimenting with vaping as young as age 14.
This week, a statewide ban on selling flavored nicotine vaping products went into effect. The governor’s reasons for ordering it included protecting teens’ health, the idea being that kids are lured in by the flavor and then hooked on the nicotine.
East Grand Rapids High School Principal Craig Weigel agreed to let News 8 on campus to talk with a group of students about vaping among teens, which federal health officials have labeled an epidemic.
“I’ve seen kids charging it (a vaping device) during class. I’ve seen people take hits in class when there’s a substitute,” senior Katie McGraw said.
“It’s ridiculous what people do, honestly,” senior Matthew Langley added.
“I think people are just so used to seeing it and normal around it that they know no one in the class will tell the teacher,” senior Anna Knuble said.
==Above, the teens talk about how vaping was initially advertised, the misconceptions they have seen and how perspectives are changing.==
The school district has held a series of community events on vaping, bringing in health experts and inviting the community to ask questions.
Federal officials are also moving on a ban on flavored products amid a rash of lung illnesses linked to vaping, including several deaths believed to be caused by THC-laced products.