VAPING / E-CIGS / NICOTINE
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. It’s become more popular among teens than regular cigarettes, especially given that vaping devices can be used for anything from flavors like mango, mint or tutti frutti, to flavorings containing nicotine or THC, the chemical compound in marijuana that produces the high. There are several risks to vaping for teens. Below are three major ones for parents to be concerned about:
Vaping is often marketed to kids, downplaying the dangers. With lots of flavors available for vaping liquids, as well as the variety of colors and devices available that charge just like cell phones, it’s clear that vaping products are often marketed to teens.
Vaping chemicals used in the liquids can be more concentrated and dangerous. Vaping is also very new and there are literally hundreds of brands, so there’s not a lot of firm information about what chemicals might be in what vape liquids. But even beyond nicotine and THC, synthetic chemicals that make up these liquids – including “herbal incense” like spice and synthetic marijuana – expose the lungs to a variety of chemicals, which could include carcinogens and toxic metal nanoparticles from the device itself.
Vaping may make the transition to cigarette smoking easier in adolescence. In a meta analysis of six studies, the findings concluded that the risk of smoking increases four times if a teen vapes versus a teen that does not. In another study of more than 2,000 10th graders, researchers found that one in five teens who reported a regular vaping habit at the start of the study smoked traditional cigarettes at least three times a month by the end of the study period. Another 12% of routine vapers smoked at least one day a month. By comparison, less than 1% of students who didn’t try vaping reported smoking even one day a month at the end of the study.