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Fighting back against the vaping epidemic

Experts say the long-term effects of vaping are still unknown.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A new state law is set to go into effect next week -- prohibiting vaping on school grounds in Maine. Experts say it's a key step in trying to curb the use of e-cigarettes among kids and young people.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced that it wants to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes. Experts say as many as five million teenagers are using e-cigarettes -- one JUUL pod is equal to more than a pack of cigarettes.

Dr. Colby Wyatt is a pediatric pulmonologist with Maine Medical Partners. He is currently treating three patients with vape-related lung injuries.

Some of the symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath and unlike smoking cigarettes, lung injuries connected to vaping is showing up within weeks. Federal researchers meanwhile are trying to pinpoint what substance from e-cigarettes is causing patients to die.

"Whether patients will make a full recovery from vape-related illness depends how severely their lungs are injured," said Dr. Colby Wyatt of Maine Medical Partners.

South Portland High School student Caleb Viola is a member of SoPo Unite, a drug-free community coalition. Viola, a senior, hopes with more awareness of the dangers of vaping will convince other young people to stop vaping.

"Cigarettes are not good, but you know what it is and you don't know what's inside of these things and they could have bad effects," Viola said.

Go here for more information about vaping from the CDC.

More info on Partnership for Drug-Free-Kids can be found here.

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