‘Dripping’ on the rise among teen e-cigarette users, study finds

An increasing number of high school students, who use e-cigarettes, are also “dripping,” Yale University researchers reported in a new study.

Scientists surveyed more than 7,000 teenagers from eight high schools in southeastern Connecticut in 2015.

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They discovered that more than 26 percent of the 1,080 students who reported having tried an e-cigarette also said they had tried dripping.

Dripping is a term used to refer to putting the e-liquids, or flavor liquids, used in electronic cigarettes directly on to the heating coils of the e-cig, instead of in the cartridge.

The teens who drip “report it produces thicker clouds of vapor, a stronger hit in the back of the throat when inhaled, and a more pleasurable taste,” researchers said.

Yale University psychiatry professor Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin was the lead author in the study.

“One of the concerns I have is when you are looking at the safety and risk of e-cigarettes, one really has to look at the risks of alternative uses also,” she explained.

“Kids are actually using these electronic products for other behaviors, not just for vaping e-liquids from cartridges or tanks.”

White, male teenagers, who had tried multiple tobacco products, and those who had used e-cigarettes on more days in the month before they were surveyed, were more likely to use the devices for dripping, the study concluded.

Scientists still don’t know the long and short-term effects of vaping on the lungs, Krishnan-Sarin said.

More research is needed, she added.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.