Teens sound off on e-cigarettes usage in CT

NEW HAVEN -- New statistics released from the Connecticut Department of Public Health shows the use of e-cigarettes among teens has skyrocketed.

Some said these numbers sound an alarm for state and school leaders.

Wednesday, students from Wilbur Cross High School joined in on the conversation and expressed what they believe is fueling this trend.

“I know a couple of people who smoke,” said Nina Laverty, a freshman at the high school.

According to the survey, one in 10 high school freshmen vapes.

“They think it’s cool and they want to be cool. Popularity is everything in high school. Everyone wants to be at the top and have friends,” said Laverty.

Another reason students believe their peers are doing it that they aren’t sure what’s in an e-cigarette.

“They’re naive and they think it’s water vapor,” said Laverty.

“Kids don’t realize how dangerous it is because they think it’s not a cigarette. It’s not real smoke. So they think it’s actually safer,” said Principal Edith Johnson.

Students and educators suggest limiting access to them in order to curb use, such as banning fruit flavors to make them less appealing.

Other students suggested restricting e-cigarettes to people who use them as a tool to quit smoking.

”By putting Juuls as a prescribed drug and medicine. We limit the access. Why not put Juuls in for people who really need to suppress their nicotine addiction,” said Vishisht Singhal, who is a freshman at the high school.