Vaping: The Flavor of Addiction
A recent sudden lung illness outbreak from vaping has affected more than a thousand people; the youngest is 13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Teens are nearly 7x more likely to vape nicotine than adults. American College of Physicians
4 out of 5 kids who vape nicotine use flavors National Institutes of Health
Kids report vaping as early as 12 years old NBC
“There were 6.2 Million middle and high school students who used tobacco products in 2019 and the new preferred method is vaping. Vaping does not create harmless ‘water vapor’ – vaping devices create an aerosol that can contain harmful chemicals. These devices have been connected to the hospitalization of 199 people in California including 4 deaths. Many years of research and work around tobacco and cigarettes have helped parents and families make the decision to avoid smoking or quit smoking because of the harmful health effects. For some, vaping was a way to quit tobacco smoke. But with even higher levels of nicotine and added sweeteners, users are getting addicted faster.”
– Setar Testo, MPH, HPSJ Health Education Manager
For some, vaping was a way to quit tobacco smoke. But with even higher levels of nicotine and added sweeteners, users are getting addicted faster.
E-cigarette liquids in vaping devices have at least three main components: flavors, sweeteners, and solvents. Solvents are used to dissolve the nicotine which is currently not being regulated by the FDA.
There are over 15,500 flavors on the market with names like Cotton Candy, and Razzleberry, and with packaging that resembles cereal boxes and fruit juices. Last year, the FDA declared a “teen e-cigarette use epidemic,” saying teen use surged by 78% in one year. Protect your family and learn how to spot these products at TobaccoFreeCA.com; test your knowledge here.
Tips to help you talk to your kids about vaping:
Listen – Whether your kids have tried vaping, they’ll benefit from a good talk. And a good talk starts with listening. Let them tell you about their world. These starter questions are a simple way in:
- Do you have friends who vape?
- Have you been offered?
- Have you tried it? If so, what made you say yes? If not, what made you say no?
Before you tell kids what you think, find out from them what it’s like to be a kid now where underage vaping surrounds them.
Many Talks vs The Big One– Have lots of little talks instead of a big lecture. The temptation to vape may happen more than once, so the conversation should to. Help kids understand that through middle and high school, they’ll face new challenges. Through it all, you’ll be there to talk through smart, healthy life choices.
Build a relationship on trust and communication– When children feel like they can talk with you, they are more likely to speak up if they are asked to vape. Listen to what your kids say about their lives and get to know their friends.
Be a role model– When parents smoke or vape, their kids are more likely to become smokers too. So if you smoke, set an example by quitting for good! Until then, don’t smoke around your kids and don’t let anyone else smoke in your car or home.
Help is available for you and those you love. To learn more about vaping among teens visit flavorshookkids.org. To learn more about quitting smoking and vaping call 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit www.nobutts.org .
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; American Lung Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; California Department of Public Health; California Tobacco Control Program; FlavorsHookKids.org
© Health Plan of San Joaquin, December 2019, permission to reprint in full, with attribution.