Vaporizing the youth

According to Drugabuse.gov, “America’s teens report a dramatic increase in their use of vaping devices in just a single year, with 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting “any vaping” in the past 12 months, compared to just 27.8 percent in 2017. These findings come from the 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of a nationally representative sample of 8th, 10th and 12th”. These are just the numbers that are reported during the study--The numbers are most likely higher due to the ones who may not admit to vaping and the number just grows higher each year.

Just like in the 70’s and 80’s when the big tobacco companies tailored their campaigns toward making smoking to be the “in thing” or would give you the appearance of looking cool. With such ads as Kool’s ad of a jazz player, Camels ads of the cool guy on an adventure rock climbing, or Winston’s ad of some youthful adults that look strikingly as teenagers at a baseball game catching a pop fly from the bandstands.

The same approach is attracting this generation to Vaping. With cool tech gear, colorful smoke, numerous flavorings-- the beginning of the vaping era was touted as not dangerous or bad for you.

Nothing could be further from the truth. According to Hopkinsmedicine.ord, “It raises  your blood pressure and spikes  your adrenaline, which increases  your heart rate

and the likelihood of having a heart attack. There are many unknowns about vaping, including what chemicals make up the vapor and how they affect physical health over  the long term.” According to medicalnews.com , “Research published in January  2018 found that mice exposed to  e-cigarette vapor displayed DNA damage in the lungs, bladder, and heart. This damage may increase their risk of cancer, heart disease, and lung problems. Vaping products usually contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug, although they do not involve tobacco smoke inhalation. Some vaping products may also contain: cancer-causing substances or carcinogens, toxic chemicals, toxic metal nanoparticles.”

More and more side effects, diseases and trauma to the body are being discovered as time passes from the inception of the vaping trend. According to a recent Time magazine article, “Vaping nicotine is thought to be a healthier long-term alternative to smoking cigarettes, since it delivers fewer cancer-causing chemicals than traditional combustible products. But as e-cigarette use has grown more popular among both adults for whom it is intended, and teenagers, for whom it is illegal, a number of apparent side effects have been reported. Preliminary studies have shown links between e-cigarette use and vascular, respiratory and cellular damage-- federal health agencies are looking into rare health issues potentially associated with vaping--such as seizures, injuries resulting from exploding devices—and, now, pulmonary diseases. Some teenagers have also become addicted to nicotine by vaping, raising concerns among public-health officials.”

According to Lung.org “In January 2018, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine1 released a consensus study report that reviewed over 800 different studies.

 That report made clear that using e-cigarettes causes health risks. It concluded that e-cigarettes both contain and emit a number of potentially toxic substances. The Academies’ report also states there is moderate evidence that youth who use e-cigarettes are at increased risk for coughing, wheezing and an increase in asthma exacerbations.

 A study from the University of North Carolina found that the two primary ingredients found in e-cigarettes—propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin—are toxic to cells and that the more ingredients that are in an e-liquid, the greater the toxicity.2

E-cigarettes produce a number of dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. These aldehydes can cause lung disease, as well as cardiovascular (heart) disease.3

E-cigarettes also contain acrolein, a herbicide primarily used to kill weeds. It can cause acute lung injury and COPD and may cause asthma and lung cancer.4

Both the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have warned about the risks of inhaling secondhand e-cigarette emissions, which are created when an e-cigarette user exhales the chemical cocktail created by e-cigarettes.

In 2016, the Surgeon General concluded that secondhand emissions contain, “nicotine; ultrafine particles; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.”

The Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. If smokers are ready to quit smoking for good, they should call 1-800-QUIT NOW or talk with their doctor about finding the best way to quit using proven methods and FDA-approved treatments and counseling.”

The facts are quite startling and very clear vaping is a high-risk dangerous habit with real consequences to your health and big companies are targeting youth in the hopes to create an endless customer base for decades to come.

Is vaping really cool?

Signs of vaping include: Presence of vaping equipment or related product packaging, unusual online purchases or packages, the scent is faint, but you may catch a whiff of flavoring like bubble gum or chocolate cake--increased thirst or nose bleeds, decreased caffeine use, use of vaping lingo in text messages or on social media, appearance and/or behavior changes.

Some tips according to drugfree.org are: “Have conversations. Opportunities to discuss vaping so they can present themselves in many ways: letters from the school, advertisements, seeing it on TV, walking by someone vaping or passing a vape shop. Be ready to listen rather than lecture. Try using an open-ended question like “What do you think about vaping?” to get the conversation going, convey your expectations. Express your understanding of the risks along with why you don’t want your child vaping. If you choose to set consequences, be sure to follow through while reinforcing healthier choices.

 Be a good role model--set a positive example by being vape and tobacco-free. If you do vape, keep your equipment and supplies secured. What to Say When Your Teen Asks”

Q: Isn’t vaping safer than smoking cigarettes?

Exposure to toxic substances may be reduced, but there are still significant concerns when replacing smoking cigarettes with vaping. One’s lungs are exposed to fine particles, metals, other toxins and nicotine which are all harmful. You may use the example that “Driving 90 miles an hour with a seat belt on is safer than without one, but neither is safe.” The same goes for vaping, and as with all substance use, ask your child why they’re interested in vaping in the first place.

 Q: Everyone is doing it, why do you care?

You can say, “I know you might think this because of what you see in school or on social media, but the fact is that the majority of teens are choosing not to vape. It might be popular among some kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

 Q: You smoke, so why shouldn’t I?

If you’ve tried to quit, respond by saying something like, “You’re right, smoking is unhealthy and I’ve tried to quit and wish I had never started. I don’t want you to start an unhealthy habit and struggle the way I have.”

For more information and a guide to talking with teens please visit: https://drugfree.org/article/how-to-talk-with-yourkids-about-vaping/

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