(RxWiki News) Electronic cigarette use appears to be on the rise among teens. Now, some teens are finding new ways to use these nicotine-delivering devices, according to a new study.
Some high schoolers are turning to a new method of e-cigarette use called "dripping." Dripping involves inhaling the vapor from a nicotine-containing solution that is dripped directly onto a heated atomizer. This reportedly creates a larger cloud of vapor for the user to inhale — and it might increase the health risks.
E-cigs are battery-powered devices that use an atomizer to heat a nicotine solution to create vapor. Nicotine is the primary addictive chemical in tobacco.
This new study looked at 1,080 Connecticut high school students who used e-cigs in 2015. Through anonymous surveys, these researchers found that 1 in 4 students reported trying dripping with their e-cigs.
These researchers looked at the reasons why young people said they tried dripping. Common reasons included that they felt that dripping produced thicker clouds of vapor and made the flavors taste better, among other reasons.
Dripping may expose users to more toxic chemicals than normal e-cig use. Past research has shown that dripping exposes e-liquids to much higher temperatures than normal. This can produce higher levels of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and acetone.
A limitation of these findings is that the students self-reported their e-cig habits. In addition, the survey only included high school students from Connecticut. So results may not generalize to other youth in the US.
This study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
The National Institutes of Health funded this research. The study authors disclosed no outside funding sources or potential conflicts of interest.