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"Dripping" common among teen e-cigarette users, study finds

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat liquid and turn it into vapor - instead of smoke - which a person inhales.

According to Krishnan-Sarin, "Emerging data is also showing that e-cigarettes contain many other chemicals like propylene glycol and glycerine, and they also contain a lot of flavor chemicals".

"Although there is no evidence on the prevalence rates or toxicity of this behaviour among adults or youth, [researchers] have shown that dripping e-liquids directly onto the e-cigarette atomizers could expose users to high temperatures and toxic chemicals such as aldehydes", the study warned.

The study found that one in four high school students who already vape use the dripping method.

Researchers reviewed survey responses from 1,080 e-cigarette users at eight CT high schools and learned that 26.1 percent had tried dripping.

Among the teens surveyed, 64% said they dripped for the thicker smoke, 39% said it was for the heightened flavor, while 28% said it was for a stronger hit.

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The FDA recently implemented a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to young people under 18 years of age. The study notes that dripping for these stronger sensations may indicate dripped e-cigarette users are also using nicotine, though researchers did not specifically ask whether they were dripping e-liquid containing nicotine.

A limitation to this study is that a large proportion of teens who participated in the research did not know whether they have tried dripping or not, which might have led the authors to underestimate the prevalence of this behavior.

"The risks of short term and long term use of e-cigarettes are not known", Krishnan-Sarin said by email. Krishnan-Sarin said a variety of vapor patterns can be produced with thicker clouds, such as "tornadoes and rings".

Experts warn the unsafe new fad, known as "dripping", drastically increases one's risk of being exposed to toxins and nicotine, which is normally limited by the device.

Being male, being white, having tried more tobacco products and using e-cigarettes on a greater number of days over the previous month were the traits likely to be associated with dripping. "No", he said. Story, who was not involved in the study, believes there will always be an extreme group that uses any product, including e-cigarettes, in alternative ways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insisted that e-cigarette producers specifically target young people in their marketing tactics and offer appealing flavours, while the USA surgeon general, Dr.Vivek Murthy, had declared that the product is risky due to some toxic chemical release.

Professor Shihadeh says some people resort to the alternative vaping technique because it allows the e-cigs users to conveniently change between liquid flavors without wasting liquid.

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