Some Dangers from Vaping: Blackened Tongues, Exploding Devices

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An 18-year-old from DOMUS House in Stamford gave a talk last Monday to warn area health and social services professionals and others about the dangers of vaping, a trend of “smoking” vapor through electronic cigarettes.

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Rayon Meikle of DOMUS Stamford addressed about 200 people at the annual meeting of Communities 4 Action at UConn Stamford on June 20, 2016 (Photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press)

Monday’s Communities 4 Action annual meeting at UConn Stamford was attended by a wide cross section of health professionals, social services professionals, police and elected officials.

Rayon Meikle from DOMUS House in Stamford adamantly warned against vaping in his talk Monday before the group.

Rayon showed the crowd examples of vaping devices, which he said are priced from $30 to $600. He said the battery alone costs $30.

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Photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press

“If your kid asks you for $200, he’s buying one,” he warned. “Say no.”

SIDEBAR: PRESENTATION ON VAPING & E-CIGARETTES TUESDAY AT THE DEPOT

What is vaping? And is it safe? Come out and learn the facts with Dennis Bludnicki, Substance Abuse Specialist from Liberation Programs, and James Palmieri, SRO at Darien High School.

Both will discuss e-cigarettes from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 28 at The Depot.

E-cigarettes have arrived in the life of the American teenager. Use of the devices among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to federal data, bringing the share of high school students who use them to 13 percent — more than those who smoke traditional cigarettes.

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“Kids nowadays are using vape — I was one of those kids too,” he said. “You just put a dab on and smoke it,” he said.

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Greenwich Police Officer Carlos Franco at the Communities 4 Action meeting. (Photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press)

Greenwich Police Officer Carlos Franco explained that a “dab” is a honey based marijuana that is made into a wax with a high THC level.

“They use the name ‘Pancake Man’ on the juice to trick kids into it,” Rayon continued, adding that the  juice is not regulated that any 13-year old kid can walk into a corner store and purchase it.

“VG [vegetable glycerin] has a lot of chemicals, they don’t say what it really is. It can make your tongue turn black,” Rayon warned.

Photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press

Photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press

“Three months ago a friend of mine went in a store and bought juice that said it was VG but it wasn’t.” Vegetable glycerin is an odorless liquid that is combined with flavor and nicotine to create “e-juice.”

His friend had to go to the hospital after his tongue turned black from vaping Rayon said.

A “pinky press,” he said, is a vaping device that ignites with a push of the pinky finger. One of the examples he shared, a device that had been confiscated by police, still had skin burnt onto it.

“These vapes are not something you want to use,” Rayon continued. “They can explode on you. My friend — his hand exploded. He didn’t know his finger was on the button.”

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— This article originally was published in a slightly different version Wednesday by Greenwich Free Press.

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“I recommend that VG should be illegal because it hurts a lot of people. They say it doesn’t effect people with asthma, but I see it affect a lot of people,” he said. “I’ve seen so many things I’ve never saw before. I’m seeing middle school children coming out of school and vaping.  They’re taking it to a whole new level. It’s going to be hard to stop.”

E-cigarette Vaping GFP 6-25-16

Demonstrating use of an e-cigarette for vaping (photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press)

Vaping e-cigarette GFP 6-25-16

Demonstrating use of an e-cigarette for vaping (photo by Leslie Yager for Greenwich Free Press)

Rayon said teens are using YouTube as a how-to resource to make the juices at home in their basements.

“I’d say there’s a lot more people using vape than marijuana,” he added. He attributed the lure of vaping to teenagers to the desire to look cool. “It’s all because of rap music and the videos they see of vaping. If I go out on the street vaping, they see it looks cool so they want to do it.”

See also

On Vaping

Take a Selfie While Vaping? Oxford Word of the Year: Vape

What’s Vaping all About? Owner of Clouds Vapors & Lounge Explains

PHOTOS: Anti-Tobacco Community Gathers at Clouds Vapors & Lounge in Byram

Greenwich Major Drug Bust at Clouds Vapor Lounge in Byram

On Marijuana

Alarming Facts About Marijuana and Synthetic Marijuana Use in Adolescents

On Heroin and Opioid Abuse

Talk Turns to Heroin in Greenwich: The Drug Has Worked its Way into Every Segment of Society

Addiction and the Power of Denial in Greenwich

Teens & Drugs: Q&A with Police, GEMS, GHS Health Teacher and Mom Whose Son Died of Heroin OD

GHS Grads Break Silence on Drugs from Marijuana to Heroin

Young Reader Responds to “GHS Grads Break Silence on Drugs from Marijuana to Heroin”

Why Do Kids Use Drugs? GHS Guest Speaker Asks Tough Question

Parent Response to ‘GHS Grads Break Silence on Drugs’: My son asks me why didn’t I do more?

Recovery is Something to Celebrate in Greenwich