E-cigarettes – or vapes – have been around for more than a decade, but only in recent years has their use reached epidemic levels among youth. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in four U.S. high school students admits to vaping. The CDC also recently reported that 26 deaths and more than 1,300 lung injuries associated with vaping have been reported nationwide.
What is vaping?
The word “vaping” refers to inhaling the “vapor” of an e-cigarette – a battery-powered smoking device. E-cigarettes have cartridges filled with a liquid usually containing nicotine, flavorings and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor which is inhaled. Vaping appeals to young people with flavors like cotton candy, gummy bears, and Skittles.
What are the health risks of vaping?
One of the most pressing problems with youths and vaping is that young people think that vaping is safe, which is simply not true. Scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, but here are some sobering facts known so far:
What’s a parent to do?
Resources for Parents
How to Tell if Your Kid is Vaping
U.S. News and World Report
E-cigarettes, Vapes and JUULs. What Parents Should Know
American Heart Association
Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parents
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Students are hiding vaping devices in plain sight
Resources for Students
Know the Real Cost of Vaping
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Become a Smoke-free Teen
National Institutes of Health
Be Tobacco-free with ASPIRE
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Tips for Teens
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration