Dartmouth Hitchcock Health is reaching out to teens and families as part of its new anti-vaping campaign.
The campaign, called No Safe Vape, focuses on presenting facts about the dangers of vaping to kids and their families. It also aims to provide local and national resources people can access.
Brian O’Sullivan is a pediatric pulmonologist at Dartmouth Hitchcock. He says educating parents to look for signs of vaping is important because often, they're unaware it's happening.
“A lot of these vaping devices look harmless. They may look like pens, like USB drives, and it doesn't leave ash and butts and the things that tobacco cigarettes leave,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Hampshire has the highest percentage of high school students who report using e-cigarettes or vaping products daily.
Some of the patients O’Sullivan sees are vaping.
“I worry that unfortunately an adult lecturing to them isn’t going to do any good,” he said. “So the important thing is try to connect, and find out what they know about vaping, ask why they’re doing it.”
Often, the answer to that last question is peer pressure, O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan said he got an email on Wednesday from the CDC to physicians that if anyone comes in with respiratory problems, “perhaps our first question should be: do you vape? Rather than, did you get your flu vaccine or did you have a cold recently?
"Vaping is considered such a high risk habit now,” he said.
The state of New Hampshire also has a hotline called QuitNow NH that residents can use if they want to quit vaping or smoking.