DPHHS announces two new cases of vaping-related lung illness in Montana

The CDC says e-cigarettes or 'vaping' products have now contributed to more than two-thousand cases of lung injury in the U.S. and as flavored tobacco products continue to make headlines, a recent study looks into what happens when teens and young adults try them.

Cleveland Clinic's Doctor Humberto Choi did not take part in the research but says when young people try tobacco products for the first time, they often reach for products with an enticing flavor.

"They saw that people as young as twelve years old when they started to use a tobacco product 50 to 70 percent of the time it was something that was flavored. So it seems to be something that is drawing people to tobacco products the actual flavoring,” said Dr. Choi Cleveland Clinic

The study looks at data on more than thirty-eight thousand people between the ages of twelve and twenty-five.

Participants were asked about flavored and non-flavored tobacco products.

Some of the flavors included mint, menthol, candy, fruit, and chocolate.

Researchers found, despite the type of tobacco product used, if a young person first used a flavored product, they were more likely to continue using tobacco one year later.

Doctor Choi says it can be difficult for parents to recognize their child is using these products, because they don't smell like traditional cigarettes they tend to smell fruity or sweet.

He recommends parents talk to their children upfront about the dangers of trying flavored tobacco products.

"It's good for them to have a conversation with their kids about the dangers of smoking and even things that can sound appealing – like something that has a sweet flavor, or like a fruit flavor – can be attractive to them, so they have to be careful about those products, do whatever they can to educate them not to use them,” said Dr. Choi, Cleveland Clinic

Doctor Choi says experts are now looking to put policies in place in the hopes of curbing the availability of flavored tobacco products to young people.

Complete results of the study can be found in Jama network open.

Officials say the two additional cases involve people from Cascade County and both had a history of vaping.

One person was in their teens, while another was in their 20s. Both are recovering after they were hospitalized earlier this year.

These cases mark the six and seventh people who have suffered from vaping related illnesses in Montana including one person who died from the illness last month.

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