In an exclusive interview with "CBS This Morning," Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns acknowledged we doand he and non-smokers shouldn't be using e-cigarettes. The interview comes as federal health officials are of severe lung illnesses among vapers.
Dr. Tara Narula told "CBS This Morning" that even with the lack of long-term research, it's clear kids shouldn't be doing it.
"You can argue the merits for smokers to help them quit, but nobody is saying that this has value or benefit in the youth population," Narula said. "When you see a, suddenly this becomes very real and very scary. And I think this is really a wake-up call to every parent listening to this story today to get up and have a conversation with their kids today, tomorrow, this weekend about vaping."
Narula said she spoke to a doctor in Minnesota who said they're seeing a pattern of inhalation injury that looks similar in kids who previously had no lung disease, were healthy and between the ages of 15 to 23 years old.
"[They] suddenly have shortness of breath, chest pain, flu-like symptoms, and within days to a week are ending up on oxygen, on a ventilator," Narula said. "The question is what are the long-term ramifications going to be to the lungs in these patients?"
Questions about second-hand smoke effects and whether or not vaping THC is more harmful also don't have answers. Even for smokers trying to quit, Narula said the benefits of vaping were relatively unknown.
"I think we need more research," Narula said. "Right now, as far as what is recommended, it is not one of the recommended ways. We have the gum, the patch, other medications, counseling. ... I don't think anybody can say that it doesn't potentially have value for current smokers, but that's one issue. And what I really want to focus on and what I think we really need to focus on is the youth population."
Focusing on the youth population, Narula said parents need to be aware of what vaping devices look like, have open conversations with their kids about vaping as early as kindergarten, and watch for signs their kids are vaping.
Narula said some of the signs a child is vaping include going outside or to the bathroom during family gatherings, or smelling a sweet odor on their clothes or in their room which they may try to conceal with air fresheners. They may also complain of being thirsty, have nose bleeds, and could be irritable or anxious.