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Mayo nurse reacts to surgeon general report on student vaping

Drew Kelly

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One in five high school students are vaping now, and one in 20 middle schoolers.

The new Surgeon General’s report recently released those findings on the fad that really isn’t healthy.

“They found levels of metals in them,” Mayo Health System’ nurse Jenny Prinsen said. “The electrical part that heats up the liquid, so they’re actually inhaling those metals. And they’re not small levels of metals. It may lead to neurological problems down the road.”

There’s more, according to Prinsen.

“The thing that I think a lot of kids may not realize is there’s a lot of nicotine in those Juuls,” she said.

Despite the thought that e-cigarettes are the safe alternative to smoking, Prinsen says there isn’t enough evidence to confirm that.

But it’s not really the need for an alternative that draws the students, anyway.

“They like the flavors and that’s what draws them to it,” Prinsen said. “If we can get some restrictions or just take the flavor out completely, that may help limit the amount of e-cigarettes that the kids are using.”

Prinsen says most kids are vaping out of a product known as Juul, which looks like a USB jump drive.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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