Vaping was the #1 most searched word on Google in 2015. What does it mean and what harm does it pose to our kids? Lake County teens report they are surprised by the classmates who are vaping since they aren’t necessarily known as the “partying” types. Many parents find themselves in uncharted territory with regard to vaping.
Vape pen use is on the rise among teens, with only 14% of 12th graders perceiving it as harmful. A saturated advertising market featuring celebrity use results in overexposure of teens to vaping, which advertisers tout as cool and trendy.
5 FAST FACTS every parent should know:
- It’s easy for teens to conceal their vaping from parents and school staff. Vape pens, also known as e-cigarettes, contain atomizers that heat the liquid (e-juice). Inhaling and exhaling this vapor through the use of a vape pen or other device is known as vaping. Because the vapor dissipates quickly and there is often little to no smell, teens are more open about where they vape.This Vaping & E-Cigarette Fact Sheet gives more detail on these pens and how they work.
- JUUL (the “iPhone of vape pens”) looks like a USB drive. They are pocket-sized vaporizers that can be charged in tablets at home or in school, making them difficult to identify as vape pens.
- “Just flavoring” is NOT “just flavoring.” Because the e-cigarette industry is not yet regulated, ingredients don’t have to be listed — as a result many “hidden” chemicals found in flavored vaping liquids are potentially harmful and include known carcinogens and often nicotine.
- Marijuana–in highly concentrated forms–can be added to vape pens. Marijuana (in various forms) can be inhaled through vape pens. When added as hash oil, THC (the addictive ingredient in marijuana) can reach concentration levels of 90% as compared with 20% concentrations from a typical marijuana plant. At such high levels, there is a much greater likelihood of the user experiencing adverse effects.
- E-cigarettes are NOT a non-addictive alternative to cigarettes. More than 50% of first-time users (in 2015) between ages 12 and 17 had never before smoked cigarettes. Yet studies show that 30% of teen e-cigarette users are more likely to start smoking cigarettes within 6 months.
For even more information check out this presentation on Teens & E-Cigarettes
created by Andy Duran, Executive Director of LEAD. It serves as an excellent resource for parents and educators in turning the tide on teen vape pen use.
Vaping PSA at District 113
With reports of vaping happening at HPHS, DHS, and other nearby high schools, CTAD has teamed up with neighboring drug prevention coalitions to create a public service announcement (PSA) about vaping. This PSA is part of a series that will air on monitors in common areas of the school. Others will have information about alcohol, marijuana, stress, and sleep. They are posted on CTAD’s Facebook
pages when they air in the schools. Watch the PSA here