ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed among high school and middle school students.

Although we don’t fully understand the risk factors associated with vaping, it is safe to say there are health risks as most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a substance that is very addictive and can harm adolescent brain development. When vaping you can inhale particles in your lungs and chemicals that cause cancer.

Dr. Aleksandr Kalininskiy focuses on Pulmonary Medicine at Arnot Health. He said, “Vaping is not typically thought of as a gateway drug. But people who have never smoked cigarettes before do end up smoking cigarettes if they first start with vaping, more so than if they didn’t vape initially”.

Kalininskiy said that tracking he dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes is more complex than other commonly used drugs.

“What one person is vaping is not the same thing as what another person is vaping. So, we do not know what the dangers are because there are factors like where you bought it. What cartridge did you get? How are you vaping?” Kalininskiy explained. “Just being aware that it is not as simple as alcohol or other drugs. Vaping has only been around for about ten years, so we don’t have good data on the long-term effects.”