Vaping is a growing concern for parents, especially in light of several recent vaping-related deaths.
Many parents have heard of vaping (or using “e-cigarettes”) as a smoking-cessation tool, and they’ve been caught off guard with its rapid rise in popularity among teens.
Do you wonder how the phenomenon will affect your child? Because vaping is such a new issue for parents of teens, you may have questions like “What IS vaping?” or “Is vaping addictive for teens?” or “What is my child inhaling when they vape?”
To address these concerns and provide fact-based information, The Idaho Office of Drug Policy, the state agency that’s home to the Be the Parents program, launched a statewide campaign called “Clear the Air on Teen Vaping.”
Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing videos and graphics on our Be the Parents Facebook page to help Idaho parents get the answers you need to understand the impacts of vaping and how to talk to your child about it.
Here are a few key takeaways from the campaign:
- Most vape e-liquids contain nicotine, which harms teens’ developing brains, impairing memory, learning, and attention. Juul, the brand most popular with teens, sells e-liquid pods that contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
- When the e-liquid is heated with the vape’s heating element, an aerosol is produced that is inhaled into the lungs. In addition to nicotine, the aerosol can contain many different substances, including cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde; ultrafine particles; flavorings that have been linked to lung disease; and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.
- In Idaho, 21% of high school students—about 1 in 5—report vaping within the last 30 days. When looking at just 12th graders, the numbers are even higher: more than 1 in 4 use vapes or other forms of e-cigarettes.
- Youth and young adults who vape regularly are 4x more likely to start smoking within 18 months than those who don’t vape regularly.
- Teens don’t necessarily respond to health risk factors in the same way adults do, so it may be more effective to talk about the tobacco industry’s role in vaping, vape marketing campaigns that have been found to target youth, and whether vaping is a wise use of their money.
- If your child is vaping, they may be experiencing a nicotine dependence. It is important to offer to help them through a potential addiction. Consult with a pediatrician or family doctor, consider cessation programs developed for teens like My Life, My Quit and This is Quitting. Or get free one-on-one parent coaching through the Center on Addiction by calling 1-855-DRUGFREE or texting a question to 55753.