Youth vape use is an emerging public health threat.
Vaping among high schoolers increased by 78% nationally in 2019. The surgeon general declared e-cigarette (vape) use among teens an epidemic. And it is a top concern for schools in our district.
Below is information about student vaping and ways you can support your students.
Vaping and the developing brain:
Nicotine is a neurotoxin that is particularly dangerous for still-developing brains. Nicotine use can also establish patterns that leave young people vulnerable to addiction to other substances.
Vaping and the body:
Vapes also contain a number of dangerous cancer-causing chemicals and toxins such as ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, flavorants such as diacetyl (a chemical linked to serious lung disease), volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
Students don’t always realize they are ingesting nicotine when they vape:
An April survey by the Truth Initiative, which advocates against tobacco use, found that 63% of Juul users ages 15-24 were not aware the product “always contains nicotine.”
Vape manufacturers target our students:
From Skittles to Swedish Fish, the variety of flavors clearly appeal to children. According to a study at the University of North Carolina, teens perceive that fruit-flavored substances are less harmful.
Addicted to vaping:
Students using nicotine vapes can quickly become addicted. Quitting can be difficult. Parents of students addicted to vaping should contact their family healthcare provider to support their students. The Truth Initiative has a quitting tool where students can text 'DitchJuul' to 88709 to get support. For more information on quitting, visit https://teen.smokefree.gov/quit-vaping.
Talk to your kids about vaping:
Parents can make the biggest difference in whether a student will try vape. Tell them you don't want them vaping. Look for opportunities to nurture positive decision-making and healthy choices. And let them know you're watching. Use our Talk About It resources for more help.
Vapes don't always look like vapes:
The industry supports keeping vape use incognito. Vapes can look like pens, key fobs, watches, inhalers, USBs, and more.