Vaping is on the rise among Riverhead teens, but many parents don't even know what it is, say counselors and kids alike – RiverheadLOCAL

Stock photo: Fotolia

The topic of vaping was front and center yesterday at a community event hosted by the CAP Community Coalition in Riverhead.

Parents of teens and other older adults often are unfamiliar with vaping — inhaling the aerosol produced by an electronic device, CAP executive director Felicia Scocozza told the crowd gathered for the coalition’s annual “meet and greet” yesterday.

The prevailing lack of knowledge exists even though vaping is increasingly popular among teens. CAP social workers and school officials are very concerned because the substances used in e-cigarettes usually contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug.

The most popular materials used in vaping are manufactured by big tobacco companies, which market them to youth with names and flavors — such as bubble gum and cotton candy — attractive to kids. Vaping by youth has gone up more than 900 percent since 2008, Miloski said.

The result is growing nicotine addiction numbers among youth, according to the CAP presenters.

Roughly half of Riverhead High School seniors reported having tried vaping in anonymous surveys conducted by CAP. Twenty percent of

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