Edit ModuleShow Tags

Are E-cigarettes Safe? No!

After the FDA declares vaping an "epidemic" among teens, what parents need to know about the dangers of e-cigarettes.



(page 1 of 2)

Update: On Sept. 12, 2018 the FDA declared vaping an "epidemic" among young people and threatened to halt the sale of flavored e-cigarettes if the manufacturers can't show they are keeping them away from teens.

Good news, bad news. Teen smoking rates are at their lowest reported national level ever: 18 percent, down significantly from the 43 percent first tracked by the Food & Drug Administration 50 years ago. However, according to a 2014 survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teen e-cigarette use, or “vaping,” is on an alarming rise: In a 30-day window, 9 percent of 8th graders, 16 percent of 10th graders and 17 percent of 12th graders reported vaping; only 4, 7 and 14 percent, respectively, had smoked “regular” cigarettes. Worse, 4 to 7 percent of respondents said that vaping was their entry point into smoking. E-cigarettes, after all, are a lot easier to obtain; minors can legally purchase vaping products anywhere at any time.

E-cigarettes: Social style over substance

The high-tech nature of vaping is a main contributor to its growing appeal for teens. E-cigarettes use a battery-operated mechanism to heat flavored fluid (aka vaping liquid or juice) that is inhaled cigarette-style. “A lot of young people seem to be drawn to the customizable nature,” says Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of NJ GASP (Global Advisors on Smoke-free Policy). E-cigarettes are available in stylish color combinations (right), and vaping fluid comes in sweet-smelling, candy-like flavors such as cherry, mint and even Fruit Loops.

Furthermore, smoking e-cigarettes is social in nature. Local vape lounges provide a place for smokers to congregate, sample flavors and buy product. “Cloud competitions,” which determine who can make the largest cloud of vapor smoke, are popular among teens on social media. And because e-cigarettes don’t have a half-century’s bad reputation to live down, “It’s a socially acceptable way to get nicotine-addicted,” says Gary A. Emmett, MD, professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Indeed, experts warn that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is not harmless water vapor. As Dr. Emmett points out, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, just as regular cigarettes do, only in liquid form. Concerns are therefore high that vaping becomes a “gateway” smoke, says Delaware’s director of public health, pediatrician Karyl Rattay, MD. “I absolutely cannot recommend the use of e-cigarettes among youth,” stresses Dr. Rattay. “They are extremely addictive to children.” 

So much so that the younger the age kids start vaping, the more risk for addiction for the rest of their lives, says Robert Bassett, DO, a medical toxicologist at Philly’s Einstein Healthcare Network

Next page: What's in an e-cigarette and the vaping's high danger of nicotine poisoning

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Winter Fun, February 15: Enter to Win!

Presidential Trivia Quiz for Kids

Take this six-question presidents' trivia quiz (with answers) for kids and adults.

How to Help Kids with ADHD Make Friends

Kids with attention deficit disorder may struggle with friendships. Here's how you can help, as a parent and a friend.

Add your comment:


 

 

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
20 (Easy) Snowman Crafts

20 (Easy) Snowman Crafts

These snowman crafts focus on sensory and fine-motor skills.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
How to Wash Your Hands: Tips from a Pro

How to Wash Your Hands: Tips from a Pro

Get hand-washing advice from a doctor.

Comments


MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Best Toys for Kids with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Delays

Best Toys for Kids with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Delays

What are the best toys for children with special needs?

Comments

{/if}