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Pandora's Box - May 20th, 2014

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In this episode of Pandora's Box, co-host Joanie Trussel talks to Midge Kirk, Health Educator and Tobacco Specialist with Montezuma County Public Health Department, about e-cigarettes, what effect they have on the health of those who use them, and how they are regulated.

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  • Electronic cigarettes are often billed as safe and helpful for adult smokers trying to kick their habit. But the CDC says 1 in 5 young teens who try an e-cigarette have never smoked tobacco. And between 2011 and 2012, the devices doubled in popularity among middle-school and high-school students.
  • One of the big arguments for cigarettes is that they are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. But an analysis of teens finds that the rise of vaping hasn't led to a big drop in tobacco use.
  • Tobacco users often have to pay higher premiums for health insurance, and it's not clear if switching to e-cigarettes will help them escape that fate. A lot depends on what federal agencies decide.