Did you know that nearly one in three 12th graders reported using a vaping device in the past year? That’s right, e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the U.S. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. Common names you might be familiar with are e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes and tank systems.
In a study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse about what was in teens e-cigarettes, 13.2% of teens reported nicotine, 5.8% reported marijuana, 13.7% didn’t know, and 1.3% said other. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t have to report e-cig ingredients, so often users don’t know what’s actually in them. As of 2016, it is ILLEGAL to sell e-cigarettes in person or online to anyone under age 18, they cannot be sold in vending machines, and it is illegal to hand out free samples.
So the big question is: Are they better for you than traditional cigarettes?
Despite what you have heard, there are several risks associated with vaping:
- Nicotine is highly addictive and can put you at risk for addiction to other drugs
- Aerosol, the substance that e-cigarette users breathe in, contains harmful and potentially harmful substances like nicotine, chemicals and heavy metals
- Raises blood pressure
- Potentially harms parts of the brain that control attention and learning
- Increases risk of alcohol use and other substance use
Provided below is a list of resources for youth that can provide more information about vaping: