Vaping is, unfortunately, becoming more popular with adolescents and teens. Vape products are known by many different names; they are sometimes called e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems, and electronic nicotine delivery systems.
Most vaping devices contain and deliver nicotine into the lungs, which can harm a teenager’s developing brain and lead to addiction. But nicotine is not the only substance of concern found in vape devices. Vape and e-juices are aerosols, which ore often mistaken for water vapor. These aerosols contain fine particles, which may include heavy metals (such as nickel, lead, and tin), flavoring (such as diacetyl), and volatile organic compounds.
Here are some of the most important things to know about youth vaping:
Vaping is Addictive
- Vapes and e-juices contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that is extremely hard to quit.
- Nicotine is the same drug used in cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.
- Some vape pods have as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes (a pack of cigarettes).
- Because the brain continues to develop until the mid-20s, young people have a greater risk of becoming addicted to nicotine.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the organization that makes sure drugs are safe and effective. This is called “regulating.” The FDA is supposed to regulate e-juices and vaping devices; they have not started regulating e-juices and vaping devices yet so we cannot be sure what is in these products.
Ways to Quit Vaping
Quitting is possible. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has created resources specifically for vaping and tobacco cessation. The Center of Disease and Control and Prevention also highlights ways to quit smoking.
- Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit the Massachusetts Smokers Helpline website to learn more about cessation.
- The Quitline offers coaching and support through phone calls, texting, and emails, as well as access to quick progress tracking.
- A limited supply of cessation medications may also be available free of cost through the Quitline. Medications include patches, lozenges, gum, and prescription medications.
Tips for Teens
- Know the Risks. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime young brains for addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Know the Risks. Youth use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe, including e-cigarettes. More research is needed to fully understand their impact on health.
- Know the Risks. Smoking—including vaping, cigars, and hookah use—is particularly harmful for teens because your body is still growing and changing. Evidence shows that smoking has an impact on nearly every organ in a person’s body.
- For more information, check out Tips for Teens – E-Cigarettes and Tips for Teens – Tobacco Use.
Tips for Parents
- Get the Facts. Learn as much as you can about vaping products,including what they look like, common brand names, and where products are sold.
- Talk with Your Kids. Talking with your kids about vaping is one of the most important things you can do. Below are tips to help you prepare for and start the conversation.Be truthful about what you know about the dangers of vaping, and what you don’t. You can honestly say, though, “Vaping isn’t harmless. I hope you can steer clear of it.”
- Encourage kids to join The 84 Movement. Hundreds of high school students across Massachusetts take part in this youth initiative that empowers young people to work for change in their own communities. Ask your child if there is an 84 Chapter at his/her school. If not, maybe they can help start one!
- Learn more about what you can do. Educating yourself, talking with your kids and encouraging them to get involved in fighting the tobacco and vaping industries’ influence in your community is important.
- Click HERE and check out the purple box below called “Talk to Your Kids About Vaping” for more tips.
- The Mass Clearing House provides educational materials free of charge, including Thinking About Quitting Vaping business cards that provide youth with resources to quit.
- Make Smoking History provides information for parents/guardians, youth, and youth serving agencies (including schools). There you can find The New Look of Nicotine campaign, which focuses on talking to youth about the dangers of vaping.
- Additional information and weekly updates on vaping can be found on the CDC’s website.
- Are you looking for vaping education geared towards parents and school professionals? Contact Ashley Hall, Program Manager for the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership at 978-799-8643 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vaping Industry Targets Youth
- The tobacco and vaping industries target young people so they will become lifetime users addicted to their products. Cigarette makers own and invest in vape companies.
- The vaping industry makes their products taste like fruit or candy so youth will want to try them
- Youth that vape are 4 times more likely to smoke cigarettes