teen vaping

Teenage Vaping – Should We Do More to Stop It

September 4, 2018

Teen Vaping: How Common Is It and Should We Be Concerned?

For the past few years, teenage cigarette usage was at an all-time low. Thanks to plenty of informative public health warnings, most teens knew that the risks of using cigarettes far outweighed the benefits. Though cigarette usage might be down, more and more teens are starting to turn to electronic cigarettes. Teen vaping is often represented as a fairly harmless activity, so many people wonder if they should even be concerned about teens using e-cigs. Keep reading to learn the true results of teens using e-cigarettes.

What You Need to Know About Vaping Among Teens

In the past five years, there has been a huge increase in e-cigarette usage throughout the nation. Electronic cigarettes are tiny devices that vaporized flavored tobacco products into a mist that can be inhaled. They are frequently flavored with unusual tastes ranging from cinnamon apple to Lucky Charms cereal. At first, electronic cigarettes were just used among a niche community of tobacco usage, but their mainstream presence has also started to attract teenagers.

According to the CDC’s statistics, electronic cigarette use among both middle school and high school students has increased significantly in the past few years. In 2011, only 1.5 percent of all high school students used e-cigarettes. By 2017, the number has increased to 11.7 percent of all students. Even very young teens are reporting higher use of electronic cigarettes with 3 out of every 100 middle school students using e-cigs. According to the FDA, e-cigarette usage is officially an epidemic among teens.

Is Teen Vaping a Problem?

Part of the reason that teen vaping has increased so much is that many teenagers are under the impression that it is harmless. This idea comes about because many companies have been promoting vaping as a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking. E-cigarettes might not contain as much toxic tar as regular cigarettes, but they are still very dangerous.

Almost all vaping liquids contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive stimulant. Teens who start vaping will begin to rapidly crave nicotine and experience withdrawal without it. This can lead to dangerous behavior among teens who are not old enough to purchase tobacco products themselves, and they may use cigarettes or other tobacco products when they cannot obtain vaping liquid. According to research from the CDC, nicotine is very harmful to a developing brain. The stimulant activities of nicotine stunt the parts of the brain that control attention, mood, learning, impulse, and focus.

Nicotine is not the only harmful ingredient in e-cigarettes. People often characterize vaping liquid as “harmless water vapor,” but the reality is that it uses chemicals to aerosolize the tobacco product. Some flavorings may have heavy metals like nickel, lead, and tin, and many also have diacetyl, a chemical that is being linked to more and more lung disease. Unfortunately, the idea that e-cigarettes are harmless may just be due to a lack of information. They are still too new to have any idea about the long-term effects of vaping. The volatile organic compounds and ultrafine particles in e-cigarettes can potentially damage the lungs and cause cancer just like cigarettes.

What Can We Do to Combat Teen Vaping?

As more and more people become concerned about teenage vaping, health authorities are starting to get involved. There has been a huge crackdown in e-cigarette sales with the FDA banning forms of online tobacco sale where manufacturers cannot verify the age of the buyer. There have also been some new advertisements published by the government that aim to warn teens about the dangers of vaping.

As a parent, the best way you can prevent your teenager from using e-cigarettes is to make them fully aware of the dangers of tobacco. Unfortunately, if your child doesn’t realize the issue before they began smoking, they may be dealing with a tobacco addiction now. This form of addiction is extremely tough to break, but it is possible to overcome.

Quitting vaping may require a combination of various forms of therapy and slowly lowered nicotine doses. At Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center, our talented staff has plenty of experience dealing with behavioral and addiction issues among teens. If you would like to find out more about how a professional rehabilitation center can help your child with a nicotine addiction, contact us today.







Posted in