Teens and e-Cigarettes - What you should know about "vaping"
What are E-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. While e-cigarettes containing nicotine may be less harmful than traditional smokes, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine cautions that they can still be a gateway to tobacco addiction. The report found substantial evidence that teens who use them are more likely to start smoking. In addition, young people have been found to believe that e-cigarettes deliver “harmless water vapor” and may not realize the products can contain nicotine.
What parents need to know
How do you talk to your kids about vaping?
Here are two frequently asked question you might get from your teen about e-cigarettes and some ideas about how you can answer them.
Q: Why shouldn’t I use e-cigarettes?
- Science shows that e-cigarettes typically contain nicotine – an addictive ingredient that could harm different parts of your body.
- Right now, your brain is still developing, which means you are more vulnerable to addiction. Using nicotine can change your brain to make you crave more nicotine. It can also affect your memory and concentration. You don’t want that for your future.
- E-cigarettes contain chemicals that are harmful. When people use e-cigarettes, they breathe in tiny particles that can harm their lungs.
Q: Aren’t e-cigarettes safer than conventional cigarettes?
- Because your brain is still developing, scientific studies show that it isn’t safe for you to use any tobacco product that contains nicotine, including e-cigarettes. Whether you get nicotine from an e-cigarette or a cigarette, it’s still risky.
- The aerosol created by e-cigarettes can contain ingredients that are harmful and potentially harmful to the public’s health, including: 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.
How much do you know about vaping?
Test your knowledge.
Q: True or False - More than 6 of 10 teens believe that occasional use of e-cigarettes causes only little or some harm.
A: True. More than 60% of teens believe that occasional use of e-cigarettes causes only little or some harm.
Q: What is the risk to youth and young adults who use nicotine?
A: Nicotine can harm brains as they develop—which continues until age 25 or older! When youth and young adults expose their brains to nicotine, they are vulnerable to nicotine addiction, may have trouble paying attention and concentrating, and experience mood disorders and reduced impulse control. Nicotine may alter the way their brains function for the rest of their lives.
Q: Your brain continues to develop until about what age?
A: 25. Brain development begins during the growth of the fetus in the womb and continues through childhood and to about age 25.
Q: 4. Which tobacco products is most commonly used by U.S. high school students?
A: e-Cigarettes. U.S. middle and high school students use e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco product.
Contributing source: Centers for Disease Control