5 Facts Parents Need to Know About Vaping
Vaping has skyrocketed in popularity, and nowhere is this trend as troubling as among our nation’s teens.
The FDA and CDC released findings from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
The results show disturbing rates of e-cigarette use among both middle and high school students in 2019, with more than 5 million youth reporting having used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days and nearly one million reporting daily use.
JUUL, a popular vape device among teens—its sleek design resembling a flash-drive, charges using a USB port, and boasts pods in a wide assortment of kid-friendly flavors—delivers high levels of nicotine making the practice extremely addictive.
The trends are so concerning, the FDA recently announced a crackdown on the “kid-friendly marketing and appeal of these products.”
In the wake of unexplained vape-related illnesses and deaths, both the CDC and the American Medical Association have issued strong warnings, recommending people avoid vaping entirely.
What do you, as a parent, need to know about vaping? Here are 5 simple but important facts:
- E-Cigarettes or Vape Pens Come in Many Forms:
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine, flavorings and other ingredients in the form of a vapor that is inhaled. These devices come in all shapes, sizes and offer thousands of flavors.
- Vaping is Popular
Look again at the numbers in the first paragraph. Nationally, the CDC estimates 28% of high-school students and 10% of middle-school students have vaped in the past month—that’s 5.3 million teen users despite the fact that federal law prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
- Most Teenagers Mistakenly Believe Vaping Is Harmless
Most teenagers polled believe vaping is harmless. The fact that these products come in thousands of flavors including bubble-gum and cotton-candy, masks the higher nicotine levels and tobacco taste making it more appealing and easier to inhale. It doesn’t taste harmful. Recent studies associate the use of e-cigarettes with the development of chronic lung disease.
- You Don’t Know What You Are Really Inhaling
Besides nicotine, which is known to be harmful to developing adolescent brains, e-cigarette pods or cartridges also contain artificial flavors, chemical additives, preservatives, nicotine or THC (if vaping marijuana).
Substances commonly found in e-liquids or produced when heated include:
- Vitamin E – an antioxidant important to our immune system when taken orally, it becomes an irritant when inhaled
- Diacetyl – a food additive that deepens flavors, it is known to damage small airways in the lungs
- Acrolein – weed killer, damaging to the lungs if inhaled
- Formaldehyde – used as a preservative in morgues (doesn’t that tell you all you need to know?), its known to cause respiratory problems when inhaled and can be fatal if ingested.
- Proactive Parenting Makes A Difference
If you’re worried your teen may be vaping, take a proactive approach.
We, at Honey Lake Clinic, advise our parents to talk to your kids about the harmful effects of vaping.
Keep your eyes open for signs of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), which include cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
If you see any of these signs in your child, consult a doctor.