E-Cigarettes (Lots of information)
Vape 101: What Every Parent Should Know
Teen data find vapers often become smokers
the Hype? JUUL Electronic Cigarette's Popularity
with Youth & Young Adults
Public Health Law Center (a 66 page PDF report)
JUUL (pronounced jewel) is a brand of e-cigarette made by JUUL Labs Inc. The devices have become very popular in recent years, especially among young people.
Using a JUUL, also called Juuling, can put kids health at risk in several ways.
How is JUUL different from other e-cigarettes?
JUULs do not look at all like other e-cigarettes. Small and sleek, a JUUL looks a lot like a computer flash drive. This makes it tricky for adults to recognize them right away as vaping tools. JUUL devices are easy to hide in a fist or a pocket. They can even be plugged into a laptops USB slot to recharge.
How does a JUUL work?
JUUL devices are battery operated and work by heating a pod of e-liquid or juice that contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. When heated, the liquid creates an aerosol or vapor that users inhale.
Why should parents be concerned about JUULing?
JUUL comes in flavors that appeal to kids. JUUL juice pods come in mango, cool mint, fruit medley and other flavors. For many years, tobacco companies have used candy-like flavors to attract young people to smoke. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research, middle and high-school students say that flavor is a big reason they use e-cigarettes.
JUUL is highly addictive. The concentration of nicotine in JUUL is more than twice the amount found in other e-cigarettes. Nicotine is the chemical that causes addiction. These high amounts are a serious concern for youth, who are already more likely than adults to become addicted to nicotine. The chance of addiction is so high that the U.S. Surgeon General has warned that the use of nicotine by youth in any form is unsafe.
JUULing raises the risk of becoming a regular cigarette smoker. Research shows that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to begin using traditional tobacco cigarettes.
JUUL use is common in schools and college campuses. Teachers report that students are using JUULs in classrooms, hallways, and school restrooms. They also share the devices with friends. This kind of social use encourages kids who dont smoke to try JUULing. It also lets students who are too young to buy JUUL legally, or who could not otherwise afford them, use them through classmates.
AAP In Action
The AAP is particularly concerned about the threats to child and adolescent health posed by JUUL, including heightened risk of nicotine-dependence and other health concerns related to vaping. The AAP has joined with other organizations to urge the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action to protect children and teens from JUUL, and continues to work with policymakers to make sure that e-cigarettes are kept out of the hands of children.
Cigarettesnot okay. But for teens, "it's 'cool' to Juul," said Jack Waxman, 17, the producer of a viral Youtube video and fundraising campaign called Juulers Against Juul.
Juuls are a type of vaporizer designed so discreetly that most people dont even recognize them as an e-cigarette.
Not only are Juul vaporizers small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, they can be charged when plugged into a laptops USB slot, making it easy for students to pass them off as flash drives in class.
Between those two design elements, and the fact that the Juul pods come in flavors like crème brulee, cool cucumber, and mango, these e-cigs have become insanely popular with kids.
Jack's primary concern: that these fun-flavored pods have gotten teens across the country addicted to nicotine. His documentary-style video starts out with testimonials from kids as young as 14 detailing their experiences with Juuling.
Fourteen-year-old Margarida Ferreira said she'll leave class if she's stressed to hit the Juul. "I kind of need it. It's just a part of my life now," she told the cameras. "I know it's bad but I can't stop."
Fletcher Faden, 16, told the cameras that there have been times when he's Juuled in class, and pretty much every moment when he wasn't in class.
"Kids leaving school desperately needing pods happens a lot, and it shouldn't happen, but kids are very addicted to these e-cigarettes and need the stuff to be satisfied," said 15-year-old Jack Solomon.
Is Juuling really that popular?
In short: yes. The Juul vaping device was invented by two Stanford grads in 2007, and has since become the best-selling e-cigarette on the market, capturing 32 percent of the market share, according to Nielsen data.
One report in Washington Square News, the student newspaper at New York University, says that students use them inside dorms, while a piece in a University of Illinois independent student newspaper describes Juuls as an epidemic sweeping across campus.
In addition to convenience stores, Juul products are sold through their website where you need to verify that you are at least 21 years old by providing your date of birth, legal name, and permanent address, which are then checked against public records, before you can purchase.
However, one Boston doctor told WFXT that teenagers are still buying Juuls online by lying about their age and using a prepaid debit card.
Okay, but are Juuls really that bad?
Many people use e-cigarettes, like Juuls, because they arent made with tar and all the cancer-causing chemicals you'll find in a tobacco cigarette. Still, a 2018 study published in the journal Pediatrics (10 page PDF) found that teenagers who smoked e-cigarettes had higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals in their bodies than non-smokers.
This is not a safe alternative, says Michael Blaiss, M.D., the executive medical director of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Is it safer than a tobacco cigarette? Yes. The problem is that nicotine itself can have major effects.
When it comes to nicotine levels, one Juul pod contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, according to the companys website.
Nicotine is extremely addictive and it can act as a neurotoxin and alter brain chemistry so the brain doesn't function normally without it. This can be especially harmful for teenagers whose brains are still developing, says Carol Southard, R.N., tobacco treatment specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. More importantly, nicotine is a gateway drug. Teenagers who begin with e-cigarettes are more likely to transition to combustible cigarettes, putting them at higher risk for health issues.
Both Blaiss and Southard hope parents and lawmakers will soon catch on to this dangerous trend. Tobacco companies are getting savvier with marketing these vape products to teens, Southard says. Parents need to know what to look for and understand the dangers they could cause to teenagers health.
Should Juuls be regulated?
One of the primary goals of Juulers Against Juuling is to encourage more regulation of e-cigarettes.
"If you banned most of the flavors, like all of the food flavors, I think not as many kids would try it because it's not as appealing," said Sylvia Lazar, a 14-year-old who said she's been Juuling for nine months.
In a statement sent to Women's Health, Juul Labs says, "JUUL Labs mission is to eliminate cigarette smoking by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. JUUL is not intended for anyone else. We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product."
The company also says they're also working to find ways to reduce the number of minors who use tobacco and vapor products, and to keep young people from even trying these products in the first place.
Jack launched a GoFundMe
campaign, in conjunction with this video, to raise money for
targeted public service announcements and education
surrounding the risks of Juuling. So far, he's raised $600
of his $500,000 goal since the campaign launched five days
Vaping: What You Need to Know
Although e-cigarettes have been around for more than a decade, vaping rates have skyrocketed in recent years, especially among teens. E-cigarettes are now the most frequently used tobacco product among adolescents some 2.1 million middle and high school students were e-cigarette users in 2017 far surpassing traditional combustible cigarettes.
JUUL, a popular vape device that comes in fun flavors, looks like a flash drive and can be charged in a USB port, is especially concerning. JUUL delivers high levels of nicotine, making the product extremely addictive. The company that makes and markets JUUL recently exceeded a $10 billion valuation faster than any company, including Facebook. JUUL sales now make up more than half of the e-cigarette market.
Last month the FDA announced that it will be cracking down not only on illegal sales of e-cigarettes to minors, but also the kid-friendly marketing and appeal of these products because we see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion.
Teachers, health professionals and parents are alarmed by this trend and trying to educate not only teens but also themselves, as its all still so new.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by the heated nicotine liquid (often called juice) of an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette or e-cig), vape pen, or personal vaporizer. Its also commonly called JUULing (pronounced jewel-ing).
What originated as a smoking cessation aid has quickly became a popular and addictive product in its own right. Sarper Taskiran, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute, attributes the recent rise in popularity to packaging and advertising. The teens are after innovation and theyre attracted by sleek design and ease of use, he says. They look like an Apple product.
Although vaping companies emphatically deny that they are marketing to young people, critics note such features in their advertising as youthful images and colors, animation, actors who appear to be under 21, and suggestions that vaping makes you happier and improves your social status.
Although some of the health risks associated with vaping appear to be less severe than traditional combustible cigarettes (theres no tar, for example), there are still risks.
Some known risks of vaping are:
Since they leave little odor, e-cigarettes are particularly easy to hide and even use discreetly in public places, including school. Kids are also vaping marijuana at increasing rates, which brings its own health risks.
Why parents should be concerned
One problem with vaping is that teens hear that its not as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes and think there is no harm. They really think that they are mostly flavors and that they are inhaling a pleasant gas, says Dr. Taskiran.
A recent study of 12th graders found that kids who vaped (but were not previously smokers) were more than four times as likely to move away from the perception of cigarettes as posing a great risk of harm. The study and others like it have showed that teens who vape are much more likely to start smoking cigarettes.
The packaging does little to convey the risks. They are very enticing the way they look. Its not transparent at all. It says 5% nicotine, which sounds like nothing, so teens think 95% is water weight or vapor, laments Dr. Taskiran.
Plus, he points out, smoking never stopped being cool. Its still positively portrayed in movies, and JUUL in particular has re-branded it to make vaping an even cooler alternative. But vaping isnt only for the cool kids many teens are curious (with flavors like mango, cucumber and crème, who wouldnt be?) and presented with the opportunity will give it a try.
Sarah, a mom of two in Ann Arbor, MI, was shocked to get a phone call the other day from her sons middle school principal, requiring her to come get him immediately for emergency removal and suspension. He and two friends had been caught vaping on school grounds after school, and a passing parent took photos and sent them to the administration.
Though they didnt find any devices on her son a straight A student with no prior offenses the school, like many others, is taking a hard stance. The principal knows that vaping is common and shared that the businesses in downtown Ann Arbor are selling to teens without asking for IDs, relayed Sarah. However, she feels the need to let my son and his friends know that its a really, really big deal.
At this school, students caught vaping have to sign behavior contracts, must attend a Teens Using Drugs Class, and cannot participate in any sports, clubs or special events for the rest of the year. If the kids had been across the street, not on school grounds, it would have been a different scenario. But the principal said that had they been in high school rather than middle school, she would have called the police.
Sarah remembers what it was like to be a teenager so doesnt think trying it is that big of a deal, but is concerned about addiction. Addiction runs in my family and I worry about my son. Of course, I worry about the damage that the chemicals can do to his lungs and body as well, she says.
Although some places are tightening restrictions locally, kids can still go to a website, click a button that says they are at least 21 years old, and purchase online. The majority of adolescents I see are purchasing JUUL from the Internet, says Dr. Taskiran.
How to talk to kids about vaping
Dr. Taskiran advises parents to start by educating themselves, so they know what theyre talking about going in, and to take an inquisitive and curious approach to what their teens experience is. The most important thing is keeping it as a dialogue, he says. Declarative statements like Its bad for you just end the conversation.
Dr. Taskiran recommends starting the conversation more generally by asking if a lot of kids at school vape. Once the conversation is initiated, you can slowly work up to asking things like, What is your experience with that? What are the flavors like? He also suggests getting a sense of what they know (or think they know) about the product, which gives you an opening to start educating them.
The silver lining of Sarahs experience with her son is that he actually told his dad about the experience even before he knew hed been caught. They had a full one hour conversation about it after I was already asleep. He told my husband that he tried it for the first time and that it burned his throat and he didnt like it. She got the call from the principal the next morning before her son had a chance to tell her himself. Hes a great kid and doesnt really get in trouble except for talking in class because hes bored. My goal has always been open communication and to keep him talking to us. He did!
Of course, while parents need to educate themselves, the onus isnt entirely on them. Schools need to own this as well and provide educational strategies for both teachers and students, says Dr. Taskiran. Prevention is a lot easier than treatment later on, he says, and notes that peer education can play a particularly important role.
If you are concerned that your child has become addicted there are plenty of treatment options. Dr. Taskiran recommends consulting with a clinician who is well-versed in addiction treatments. This is a true nicotine addiction, he says. People usually think this is different from cigarette use but it can be more severe than cigarette use.
For tips on how to talk to teenagers
about vaping, check out this guide
from the Partnership for Drug-Free
Being a parent is a huge blessing, but its also a huge responsibility. One of your key responsibilities as a parent is to keep your children healthy, and away from tobacco, drugs, and other harmful addictions. But raising kids isnt easy
When they come, the package doesnt include any user manual, and they dont have a stop button. Yes, Ive looked! However, they do come with several emotional and physical needs, which parents must provide. A failure to do so can have long-term, drastic effects.
Let me ask you a question, can you guess whats the most common reason for people to quit smoking? Right, its becoming a parent. The motivation to keep your offspring healthy is powerful enough to get rid of the biggest addiction known to mankind. But still, it can be an extremely tough row to hoe. Thats why many people who just cant quit cold turkey, try other aids like nicotine gums, nicotine patches, and e-cigarettes.
Several recent studies show that using e-cigarettes, also known as vaporizers or just e-cigs, is many times safer than smoking. Unlike chewing a gum or slamming a patch on your arm, it offers pretty much the same sensation as smoking a real cigarette, it can come in handy for harm-reduction. However, those who dont smoke or underage children need to stay away from vaporizers. If you are a parent who vapes, this guide has a lot of valuable info, some interesting facts, and handy tips for you.
National Youth Tobacco Survey Shows Rise in Vaping
Smoking among teens has been a huge concern over many years. According to federal statistics, approximately 90% of smokers try their first cigarette by 18. During the past few years, vaping among teens has also surfaced as a major concern.
According to National Youth Tobacco Survey in the United States, published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every year, vaping is becoming quickly popular among high school students, which definitely is a bad news. So, whats the good news? Well talk about it shortly, but first lets take a quick look at some stats from the surveys published in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Teenagers vaping electronic cigaretteThe survey from 2014 shows that 15% male and 11.9% female students reported having used an electronic cigarette in the preceding 30 days of the date the survey was conducted. In 2015, the ratio went up to 19% and 12.8% for boys and girls respectively. If we go back into 2013, only 1.1% of students (1.4% males and 0.9% females) had tried an electronic cigarette, and it was the least used method but within just one year its popularity went through the roof and 11.9% students reported to have used it in 2014 and it became the most used method.
Several doctors think that these trends can have drastic impacts on the youth. The CDC Director Thomas Frieden termed these trends as alarming and shocking. Well, its hard to disagree with them because e-cigarettes are only for ex-smoking adults, not even for adult non-smokers, let alone kids.
According to the same survey, while the overall tobacco use among adults hasnt changed much over the years, there has been a historic drop in the percentage of high school student smokers. In 2013, 12.7% high schoolers reported to have smoked a tobacco cigarette within the past 30 days of the survey date but in 2014 we saw an all-time low ratio of 9.2%. However, the survey doesnt show any significant change in 2015 from the last year.
So, while vaping is on the rise, smoking is on the decline.
This is because of two reasons: either the kids who were previously smoking switched to vaping for harm-reduction or new smokers are preferring vaping over smoking. As a matter of fact, the health professionals recognize the harm-reduction potential of e-cigarettes and a study sponsored by the UK Government has shown that e-cigarettes are exponentially safer than tobacco cigarettes (113 page PDF) . So, the claim that e-cigarettes can prove to be a gateway for teenagers into the obnoxious world of tobacco is dispelled by the surveys conducted by CDC.
Also, there are numerous reputable quit smoking groups, like Quit Smoking Community, for instance, that support electronic cigarettes and trying to raise awareness of their potential positive impact.
However, that doesnt mean that as a parent you dont need to be concerned because, as a lack of decades-long data, we are not yet sure how e-cigarettes will impact our and our childrens bodies in the long-run. And we definitely cant afford to take any risks when it comes to our young ones.
Why Parents Should be More Concerned
Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs or vaporizers dont have the loathsome smell, the ash or the butts. Whats more, the vapor evaporates in the air more quickly than smoke. To make the matters worse, e-cigarettes come in all shapes and sizes, which can be concealable or hard to distinguish from a normal pen, a USB memory stick or any other handheld gadget. So, in case your child is vaping secretly, it can be extremely hard to catch them. This really is a predicament for parents, however, with some inside info and a little effort you can find out whether or not your kid is flirting with vaping, and can also try to keep them away from it.
Secondhand Vapor and Vaping Around Infants
A study conducted by Spanish Council of Scientific Research published in Journal of Chromatography last year showed some remarkable results. The purpose of the study was to measure levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) some of which can be toxic in indoor air, normal exhaled breath, exhaled smoke of tobacco cigarette, and exhaled vapor of an e-cigarette.
Interestingly, the study shows that exhaled vapor or e-cig aerosol had fewer VOCs even than normal breath, smoke had the highest. While this study proves that secondhand vapor is virtually safe, but it does contain nicotine. Also, no matter how safe it is, vapor has pretty much the same stigma attached to it as smoke and most people find it equally repellent, so be careful when vaping in public.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated that teenagers who see e-cig ads or have a family member who uses electronic cigarettes are much more likely to start vaping themselves.
But being a parent, you have an even higher responsibility. And if you have an infant, its better not to vape around them at all. Since vapor contains nicotine and Propylene Glycol, which can cause throat irritation in non-smoking adults, we dont know how adversely it can affect babies. The biggest issue with the e-cigs is that many manufacturers try to conceal the ingredients of their e-juices, while some low-quality e-cig models can cause plastic or paint to get mixed with vapor. In short, while vapor might be safer than the tobacco smoke, we cant be sure if its 100% safe for babies.
7 Hidden Warning Signs That Your Kid is Vaping
Here are some subtle signals that mean that your teenager might be vaping clandestinely.
1. Mystic Aroma E-cigarettes dont smell bad like the smoke from combusting tobacco, however, most e-liquids have flavors in them that usually smell nice like candy, mint, vanilla, fruit punch etc. If you catch a sudden whiff of any of these but none of them is around, consider this a red flag.
2. Unfamiliar handheld gadgets E-cigarettes come in various shapes, from cig-a-likes to box mods. However, the most common ones resemble a pen and are known as vape pens. If you such a gadget, or a pen that isnt a pen, be aware that it could be a vaporizer. The easiest way to spot an e-cig is to look for holes on each end of the device.
3. Increased thirstiness Vapor from e-cigs is made of VG (Vegetable Glycerin), PG (Propylene Glycol), and flavors. The chemical characteristics of PG make it attract water molecules from its surroundings. When vapor enters the mouth, PG does its trick and keeps the vaper in a state of dry mouth. So, if your kid is suddenly drinking more water, you need to keep a closer eye on them.
4. Caffeine sensitivity Vapers develop caffeine sensitivity, and in case your kid loved coffee or Red Bulls but suddenly stops chugging on them, vaping could be the cause.
5. Batteries and Chargers Just like you have to charge your smartphone every single day, vapers need to charge their vaporizers on a regular basis. While some e-cigs can be charged with just a USB cable, most of the powerful e-cigs like box mods support 18650 batteries. So, if you see unfamiliar batteries on the charger, take a look around and you might find a vaping device.
6. Metallic wires and cotton wicks If you find organic cotton, empty plastic vials or thin metallic coils lying in your childs room, this is yet another red flag.
7. Discarded atomizers The atomizers are a vital part of e-cigs as they turn e-juice into vapor. However, they are disposable and after a while usually burn out. If you come across a discarded atomizer in your kids trash can, its a clear indication that he/she has been vaping.
How to Take Charge of the Situation
If your worst fears come true and you find out or just suspect that your child who is under the legal smoking age is vaping, dont panic. Its time to take charge of the situation, and help your kids walk out of this addiction. Depending on your unique situation, you might have to do certain things, however, here are some general guidelines that can be helpful.
Todays kids are more
educated and more health savvy. If you explain to them how
nicotine can lead to addiction and even health risks, they
will most likely listen to you. And last but by no means the
least, be the message yourself. If you dont want your
kids to vape, dont vape yourself. This will give more
weight to your arguments and your kids will most likely
Is My Child Vaping?
Heres 9 Signs to Watch For
Originally designed to help people quit smoking cigarettes, e-cigs have turned into a national infatuation among teens and young adults. While vaporized liquid has been found by researchers to be less harmful to lungs than smoking traditional cigarettes, researchers have also found that vaping has its fair share of damaging side effects, especially for teenagers.
Aside from the documented side effects associated with vaping, the vape devices are compatible with marijuana, cocaine, THC liquids and other drugs, making substance abuse far easier and more discreet for teens and young adults. Plus, the device offers enough transparency creating a danger for users who may not be fully aware of what theyre actually vaping.
If youre concerned that your child may be vaping, here are 9 signs you should be on the lookout for:
Unexplained Sweet Scent Although the vapor produced by e-cigarettes can be either odorless or scented, given the choice, most teenagers will choose the scented (or flavored) vapor. The e-liquid, also known as e-juice, available on the market for e-cigarettes comes in a variety of enticing flavors such as Gummi Bear, Berry Lush, Frozen Lime Drop and Watermelon Wave that all too many teens are eager to try. If you notice a sweet scent that is unexplainable, it might require further investigation on your part.
Pens and USB Drives that Dont Look Normal E-cigs come in many forms. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. However, the most common e-cigs among teens are vape pens which resemble a traditional pen, and Juuls, which are essentially sleek USB-shaped e-cigarettes that some are calling the iPhone of e-cigs. If you come across an unusual looking pen or USB drive, often with holes on each end, chances are its a vaping device and not a typical pen or USB drive.
Skipping the Caffeine Some e-cig users suddenly find themselves developing sensitivity to caffeine. So, if your teen used to be hitting Starbucks regularly or chugging Red Bulls and is now suddenly passing on their favorite caffeinated drinks, this could be a red flag.
Increased Thirst Dehydration, often described by vapers as dry or cotton mouth, is actually a fairly common side effect of vaping. Propylene Glycol, one of the ingredients in e-liquid, is the primary cause of the dehydration. The substance has been shown to absorb and hold in water molecules, preventing them from being absorbed into the body. Therefore, if you notice your teen drinking more than they typically do or you happen to notice other signs of dehydration such as dark circles under their eyes, you may want to dive a little deeper to determine the cause.
Nosebleeds Typically, when a person vapes they exhale the vapor through their nose which can cause the inside of their nostrils to become dried triggering random nosebleeds. The chemical in the e-liquid, Propylene Glycol, is a dehydrating chemical that strips the moisture from the inside of the nose. So, if your child is suddenly experiencing nosebleeds, it probably deserves more attention to determine the cause.
Bloody Sores in the Mouth / Smokers Cough According to a 2017 article in Science News for Students, entitled Concerns Explode Over New Health Risks of Vaping, researchers are now linking e-cigs with mouth wounds that wont heel and smokers cough. The vapors disrupt the immune system which can have harsh effects on human cells. Keep your eye on your child if they complain of sores in their mouth or begin to show signs of an unexplained cough. It could be a sign that your child is vaping.
Unfamiliar Batteries and Chargers While some vape pens can be charged with a simple USB cable, most require batteries. And, since an e-cig vape pen battery typically only last two hours with constant use, the battery needs to be charged regularly. If you find an unfamiliar battery or battery charging device, this could serve as another red flag that your child may be vaping.
Finding Organic Cotton Balls Dand Metallic Wires If you stumble across any unbleached, organic cotton balls or thin metallic coils, which are components used when vaping, its typically a dead giveaway that your child is vaping.
Discarded JUUL Pods According to the Public Health Law Center (a 66 page PDF report), as of March 2018, Juuls represented nearly 55% of the e-cigarette retail market share and much of that growth is a result of teen use. While most teens consider Juuls cool, rising concern over their high nicotine content has many parents extremely concerned. To use a Juul, users purchase Juul pods. As the name suggests, the pod systems are e-cigs that make use of a pod as opposed to a traditional atomizer, although they pretty much serve the same function. If you happen to see discarded Juul pods in your childs backpack, bedroom, pockets or elsewhere, theres reason for concern.
Discarded Atomizers The atomizer is an important part of any e-cig. Its the component of the e-cig that turns the e-liquid into vapor. The atomizers dont last forever and eventually need to be discarded. Therefore, if you happen to come across a discarded atomizer in your childs room, it can be a good indication that your child has been vaping.
For more information about vaping
101: What Every Parent Should Know
"The most important thing to understand as a parent is that not all vaping is created equal."
If you dont know the difference between an e-cigarette, vape pen, or a Juul and youve never heard the term dripping, youre not alone. But it may concern you to know that most teenagers do.
Vaping is all the rage in the U.S., especially with teens. The CDC reports that while fewer teenagers are smoking traditional cigarettes, many are instead opting to vape.
Nearly one in four high school students are vaping with products such as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, vape pens, and Juuls and the number of middle schoolers jumping on the bandwagon is on the rise as well with nearly 10% of 8th graders admitting that theyve vaped in the last month.
The rising trend of vaping is one that many teen parents are familiar with. Either theyve heard their child talk about it or their teen has admitted to trying it. After all, according to many teens, It doesnt contain any nicotine at all so its completely safe. But, is it? The most important thing to understand as a parent is that not all vaping is created equal.
What Are Electronic Cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes, also commonly referred to as e-cigs, e-hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, JUULs and mods (customizable, more powerful vaporizers), are battery-operated, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) used to inhale an aerosol, which contains e-juice also known as e-liquid.
The e-juice in e-cigarettes can contain varying amounts of nicotine ranging from zero to upwards of 36 milligrams per milliliter and contains 5 major ingredients: Water, Vegetable Glycerin (the base that makes up 80% 90% of the e-juice), Propylene Glycol (mixed with the Vegetable Glycerin as the base for the e-juice generally recognized as safe by the FDA), Flavor (which makes up 10% 20% of the e-juice) and, oftentimes, nicotine of varying strength.
E-cigs come in many forms. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes, cigars, pipes and even normal everyday items including pens and, gaining in popularity due to its discreteness, USB memory sticks, which are called Juuls. The explosive use of Juuls among teenagers has health experts and parents alike extremely concerned due to the devices high nicotine content. Each Juul pod contains 5% nicotine, the equivalent of 1 pack of cigarettes or 200 puffs. (JUULs, the vaping device teens are getting hooked on.)
How Does an E-Cigarette Work?
There are more than 450 e-cigarette brands on the market today and they all operate in a similar fashion.
They have four different components: a cartridge (which holds the e-juice), heating element (also known as an atomizer), a battery power source, and a mouthpiece. When the person puffs on the e-cigarette it activates the battery-powered heating device which then vaporizes the liquid allowing the user to inhale the aerosol or vaper.
Why the Fascination with Teens?
Ask a group of high school kids and theyll tell you, Vaping is not only fun, its cool.
Aside from the cool factor, a big draw for teens is the huge variety of e-juice flavors available on the market including such flavors as Gummi Bear, Berry Lush, Frozen Lime Drop and Watermelon Wave, to name a few. Many teens are also intrigued by the vape tricks they can do with the vapor all with enticing names such as Dragon, The Waterfall, Vapour Bubble, and The Tornado. And, for teens interested in learning these tricks, YouTube offers plenty of how-to videos.
Plus, vaping is relatively affordable. A vape starter kit can be bought online for under $30. Despite regulations that state that you must be 18 years old to purchase a vape pen or e-juice, it doesnt seem to be stopping teens. Most importantly, teens are likely to use, or at least try, e-cigarettes because theyre convinced its completely safe. Interestingly, however, the National Institute for Drug Abuse took a poll of teenagers and found that many teens didnt know exactly what they were inhaling. In the poll, 66% thought it was just flavoring, 13.7% had no idea, 13.2% thought it was nicotine, 5.8% thought it was marijuana and another 1.3% said other.
What Regulations Are In Place To Protect Our Children?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, under FDA regulations designed to protect the health of young Americans, minors can no longer buy e-cigarettes in stores or online. Furthermore, the FDA now regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of e-cigarettes.
What Are The Health Risks Associated with E-Cigarettes with Nicotine?
While many studies suggest that the use of e-cigarettes is less harmful than cigarettes when people who regularly smoke switch to them as a replacement, nicotine in any form is a highly addictive drug. As far as teens are concerned, vaping with nicotine can pose even greater threats. The teen years are critical to brain development which continues into adulthood. Teens who vape are putting themselves at risk for long-term effects. Because nicotine impacts the development of the brains reward system, vaping over a long period of time can not only lead to addiction of nicotine, but it can also make drugs including Cocaine or Methamphetamine more pleasurable to a teens brain.
What About the Nicotine-Free E-Cigarettes Are They Safe?
Most teens are under the impression that its completely safe to inhale the harmless nicotine-free water vapers, but recent emerging studies claim otherwise.
Studies have shown that the chemical found in e-cigarette liquid, flavorings and aerosols are simply unsafe. According to the FDA, inhalation of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, a flavoring agent found in some, not all, e-cigarettes, is known to be associated with respiratory disease.
In fact, the American Lung Association claims that when inhaled, diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans, commonly referred to as popcorn lung a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of airways. It doesnt sound very threatening, but in actuality, popcorn lung mirrors the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with symptoms of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Currently, there isnt a standard regarding the safety level for the inhalation of diacetyl via vaping.
On a side note, The European Unions Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency released its draft guidance report for e-juice manufacturing, and Diacetyl tops the list of officially banned substances.
In another study, they reviewed 40 different types of refill liquids and found toxic levels regardless of nicotine content. Interestingly, the toxicity of e-liquids varied greatly, but one study found that cinnamon flavored e-cigarettes have the highest health risk.
Another article released in April 2017 entitled, Concerns Explode Over New Health Risks of Vaping, by Science News for Students states that the impact of vaping on our teens is more profound than we originally thought. The vapors impact the immune system causing some teen vapers to end up with smokers cough and sometimes even bloody sores in their mouth. Plus, a relatively new vaping trend thats causing serious concern is called dripping which involves manually dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the vaping device to produce a more flavorful, thicker smoke and a stronger hit. One in four high school teens who use e-cigarettes have admitted to trying this potentially dangerous new vaping method.
Can an E-Cigarette Be Used for Marijuana?
Yes. In fact, officials claim e-cigarettes can be used to vaporize marijuana, opiates, and synthetic substances. When a teen uses an e-cigarette for marijuana, hash oil can be substituted for the nicotine solution. Some vendors sell hash oil in cartridges, but with the proliferation of information on the Internet, kids are also learning how to make it on their own. And, plenty of YouTube how-to videos are available to teach those interested in learning. Plus, inhaling marijuana from a vape pen actually intensifies the users high. Higher levels of THC, the active compound in marijuana that gives the sensation of being high, are often found in the liquids used for vape pens which can pack a powerful punch leading to increased chance of addiction and enhanced side effects.
Additional Points to Ponder:
For More Information Visit: Is My Child Vaping? 9 Signs to Watch For
Resources for this post include:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Centers for
Disease Control, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, USA Today,
Science for New Students, Your Teen for Parents and
That's their cue to reach quietly for a small, sleek device they can easily conceal in their palms. It resembles a flash drive, but instead of computer files, this device stores nicotine.
They take a hit, sucking on the device as they would a cigarette. Then, "they blow into their backpacks ... or into their sweater when the teacher isn't looking," said Elijah Luna, 16, a sophomore at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom, Calif., about 30 miles east of Sacramento.
The vapor cloud is so small and dissipates so quickly that teachers are usually none the wiser, said Luna, who added he's never tried it himself.
The device is a Juul, a popular electronic cigarette that's a sensation among teens, especially in wealthier neighborhoods - and a nightmare for school administrators and public health advocates.
"I think this is going to be the health problem of the decade," said Milagros Vascones-Gatski, a substance abuse counselor at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va. In nearly 17 years working with teens, she said, she's never seen a tobacco product become so popular so quickly. Three to four students are caught smoking e-cigs on campus each week, usually Juuls, and some are suspended, she said.
Vascones-Gatski, along with other concerned educators and health care experts, consider "Juuling" more than youthful rebellion. Because it is high in nicotine, they fear the devices are extremely addictive for this vulnerable population.
To combat the spread of the devices, some schools have banned flash drives as well, to avoid any confusion between the items. Yorktown High even removed the main entrance doors from student bathrooms at the beginning of the school year to dissuade students from vaping inside. Despite these efforts, teens across America continue smoking the stuff in class, in hallways, in restrooms and at school sporting events.
Because it's referred to as Juuling, not smoking or vaping, some students may think what they're doing is harmless, said Pamela Ling, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine. "They may not even know it contains nicotine."
But it does -- and a significant amount. One Juul "pod," the nicotine cartridge inserted into the smoking device and heated, delivers about 200 puffs, about as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, according to the product website.
Assuming a teen smokes one pod a week, "in five weeks, that's like 100 cigarettes," Ling said. "By that point, you're considered an established smoker."
E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, are battery-operated devices that heat up liquid nicotine to generate an aerosol that users inhale. Smoking e-cigs is more discreet and easier to get away with than traditional cigarettes.
In 2016, California increased the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. Experts predicted the change would make it harder for teens to get tobacco products from their slightly older friends, and it seems to be working, according to a recent report.
But some health care advocates now worry that devices like the Juul could reverse that progress.
Although its manufacturer, Juul Labs, said the device is intended exclusively for adult use, it is appealing to youth because it can be easily charged on a laptop, its decal covers come in colorful designs, and the pods are available in flavors such as mango, mint and crème brûlée.
The odor Juuls produce is subtle and could easily be mistaken for a lotion or body spray.
"It's stinky and fruity," said Luna's friend Cody Maratas, of the smell he encounters inside school restrooms when others are Juuling.
In a Reddit forum (which is currently closed) dedicated to Juuling in schools, some users who identify themselves as students say school restrooms smell much nicer now as a result.
Other online users describe "craving nicotine" and complain about "fiends" who ask to borrow their Juuls at school. One has solved this by charging freshmen $3 for a hit.
An article from Berkeley High School's student newspaper described students who seek Juuls from others because they "love the head rush."
"That's a symptom of nicotine addiction," Ling said.
Juul Labs said it wants to help schools get its products off their campuses. Spokeswoman Christine Castro said the company has created a curriculum to educate youth about Juul and nicotine addiction, with input from academics. It's available for any school that is interested, she said.
"This product is solely for adult smokers," said Castro. "We absolutely condemn kids using our products."
Castro said the company limits online purchases to individuals 21 or older. To browse the site, you need only click on a box pledging you're of age. To buy, you must create a profile. Customer information is verified through multiple databases and, if that fails, customers must upload a photo identification, she said.
However, Castro conceded that it is harder to control sales on third-party sites like eBay or Craigslist.
She urged consumers to report suspicious sales to the company's email@example.com email address. Juul Labs may follow up with secret shopper visits to stores suspected of selling the product to underage customers, she said.
If users get through the age-verification process online, they can buy a Juul starter kit, which includes the vaping pen and four pods, for $50. That's expensive for most high school students -- which is why Juuling might be more prevalent in affluent communities. "In order to vape, you need money," said Vascones-Gatski, noting that most students at her high school either work or receive big allowances.
Vince Willmore, vice president of communications at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, applauds efforts taken by schools, but he thinks the burden shouldn't fall solely on educators and parents. The Food and Drug Administration "regulates tobacco products ... and we think it's important that the FDA take action to protect kids from Juul and other e-cigarettes," he said.
Last year, the agency delayed regulations that could have yanked many e-cigarette products from the market, possibly including the Juul, while it studies whether these devices might actually help longtime smokers wean off traditional cigarettes. "That basically locked in the products that are in the market for another four years," Willmore said.
Meanwhile, schools continue the battle.
At Needham High School in Massachusetts, Principal Aaron Sicotte said e-cigarettes started appearing on his campus last school year, and soon Juul became the most popular brand.
The school has alerted staff "so that when these fall out of students' bags, teachers don't hand them back," he said.
While the hype surrounding Juul might
die down, Sicotte doesn't expect vaping to go away. "I think
this is something that will remain in the fabric of
adolescence," he said. "The access is too easy, the draw is
too great, and the push through advertising is too
Teenagers: 3 Things Principals and Teachers Need to Know
The tiny device, called a Juul, looks more like a USB drive than what it actually is, a form of e-cigarette that allows students to inhale flavored nicotine vapor, often without detection by adults.
Heres what educators need to know about juuling (and vaping in general).
JUULing can be really difficult for teachers and principals to detect.
on Tobacco & E-Cigarettes
In a comprehensive set of policies issued during its 2015 National Conference & Exhibition, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) presented extensive recommendations to protect our nation's youth from the effects of tobacco and nicotine.
AAP Policy Statements:
Additional Information on HealthyChildren.org:
Source American Academy of