Harmless Habit? The Truth About Vaping…

Vaping, the inhaling and exhaling of vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device, has become increasingly popular among youth over the last few years. This is largely due to the misconception that they are a safer alternative to tobacco products. However, these devices, originally marketed as smoking cessation products, are not yet regulated or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Therefore, long-term effects of the first and second-hand vapor is still unknown.  There is even growing research to support the link between vaping and various cancers, as well as damage to the brain, heart, and lungs.

When using an e-cigarette or other vaporizer, liquid is loaded into the device.  The “e-liquid” composed of nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals is then heated. This creates an aerosol or vapor which can contain a variety of toxins, carcinogens, and heavy metals.  Due to the lack of FDA regulation, there is a substantial disparity in concentration of ingredients in e-liquid, including nicotine and other toxins. This makes it even more likely that a child or teen experimenting with e-cigarettes is unsure of what they are inhaling.

One of the most misunderstood risks regarding vaping is addiction. Regardless of how it is delivered, nicotine use can cause dependence. Although there are nicotine free e-liquids sold, the dangers posed by other chemicals contained in the aerosol still exist.

Additional risks also stem from current adolescent trends of vaping alcohol and marijuana.

Since this is still a fairly new trend, many kids may lack a full understanding of vaping and its associated dangers. This could potentially result in them more readily giving into pressure to experiment with e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Communicating with your child about this topic can equip them with the knowledge to make a better decision. Begin the conversation by asking teens what they already know.

Click here vapingfor additional information to read and discuss with your children.