What Every Parent Needs To Know About The Dangers Of Vaping & E-Cigarettes
Over the past couple of years, E-cigarettes have been exploding in popularity among both youth and adults. But E-cigarettes and vaping are creating a growing concern about teen health and safety among parents and healthcare professionals. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports actions to prevent youth and children from using or being exposed to vaping and E-cigarettes. We’ve gathered the facts parents need to know about this dangerous trend so you can discuss these risks with your teens.
Vaping Is Not A Healthy Alternative To Smoking
Although E-cigarettes have been promoted as being a safer alternative than cigarettes, it is important to know that vaping devices are still unhealthy and dangerous. Traditional cigarettes contain up to 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. While it is possible that E-cigarettes expose you to fewer toxic chemicals, we do not yet know how many toxic chemicals the vapor is made up of. We do know that the solution used in E-cigarettes contains harmful chemicals like antifreeze, diethylene glycol, and cancer-causing carcinogens. Additionally, E-cigarettes have not been on the market long enough for the long-term effects to be studied effectively.
Vaping Is Causing A New Generation To Become Addicted To Nicotine
Another major concern surrounding vaping devices is that it is leading to a new generation of youth becoming addicted to nicotine. Most E-cigarettes still contain nicotine – a highly addictive, toxic substance that causes the craving to smoke and withdrawal symptoms when those cravings are ignored. Nicotine is known to raise blood pressure, cause spikes in adrenaline, and increase heart rates – all of which can lead to a heart attack. Nicotine is also harmful to the development of the brain – which isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. Additionally, E-cigarette users are also often exposed to higher doses of nicotine than they would be with a traditional cigarette because the cartridges can be bought in extra-strength doses and the voltage of the vaping device can be increased. Finally, there is also a major concern that vaping acts as a gateway to smoking traditional cigarettes and using illicit drugs.
Many Teens Hide Vaping
Vaping devices are known by many names, including E-cigarettes, E-cigars, vape pens, personal vaporizers, E-hookah, and pod systems. Additionally, teens often use code language when speaking about vaping products. For example, teens may say they are “Juuling” – a term that derives from the brand name of a vaping product. Vaping devices may also be easy for teens to hide as they don’t always look like a cigarette. Vaping devices can look like a pen, a flash drive, a key fob, an inhaler, or a flashlight. It can also be difficult for parents to detect when their children have been using vaping products because they do not leave behind a smell as traditional cigarettes do.
Discuss Vaping Concerns With Your Child’s Pediatrician
Talk to your child’s pediatrician about how to discuss the risks and dangers of vaping with your teen. If you are concerned your teen is already vaping, discuss your concerns with their pediatrician. Your child’s pediatrician can help you explain the dangers to your child and provide resources to help prevent and stop the use of vaping products. Contact Children’s Medical Center to schedule your child’s next annual wellness visit today.