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Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

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Investigative Reporter Matt Levi gives us an inside look at youth vaping among high school, middle school and elementary school haumāna. Kamehameha Schools sponsored this report as part of its commitment to keeping our keiki healthy and safe.

Youth vaping: What you need to know

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:

  • One liquid e-cigarette cartridge delivers the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, some cartridges deliver even more.
  • Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm a child's brain which is still developing, particularly the part of the brain that controls attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
  • Using nicotine during childhood may increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
  • Vaping liquid contains other harmful substances including ultrafine particles, volatile organic compounds, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead.
  • Vaping devices can explode, causing serious injury.
  • Vaping drugs bought off the street – including THC – can be extremely dangerous because the drugs may contain harmful contaminants.

What’s a parent to do?

  • Start a dialog with your child about vaping, beginning with something like: “I hear that vaping is on the rise among students. What is your experience with that?”
  • Talk to your child about the dangers of e-cigarettes and drugs.
  • Encourage your child to stay away from all vaping products because you want them to live a long and healthy life.
  • Set a good example by being tobacco-free. If you use tobacco, get help to quit.
  • If your child is vaping, help them quit.

 

LEARN MORE

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
Today Show

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

Tags: student safety, vaping, malama ola minute