MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Vaping among children has become a huge issue in the United States. According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.6 million high school and middle school students have used an e-cigarette also known as a vape in 2022.

Virginia Guy, the Executive Director of the Drug Education Council, is urging the community to be aware of the danger vapes can have among children.

According to the CDC, 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Guy says nicotine can cause mental health issues within children.

“A child is more at risk of developing addiction when they vape,” said Guy. “The second reason is because nicotine, and that’s what’s typically in some of these vapes, disrupts mood and attention and adolescence. The third thing is that we know that the chemicals that are in those vape devices, and it flows across a battery, all of that can do permanent lung damage.”

She says kids who vape are mostly using them in schools which can lead to attention deficit disorders. Other than nicotine, she says THC or fentanyl can be found in the vapes which would lead to others issues down the road. The chemicals in the vape affect children differently rather than they do adults.

“One of the main differences between vaping as a child and vaping as an adult, is if you’re vaping, nicotine, or really THC or any drug, the adolescent brain is far more vulnerable to developing addiction,” said Guy.

Guy says it’s important to start the conversation at home with children to prevent them from any possibility of addiction.