Are Electronic cigarettes safer than regular cigarettes?
Smoking e-cigarettes goes by many names — like vaping, Juuling, and Juicing. While these may seem less harmful forms of traditional cigarettes or tobacco use, many of these contain nicotine — the addictive chemical found in tobacco products. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among young people with an estimated 3.6 million adolescent users in 2018. Because e-cigarettes mimic basic items such as a pen, USB flash drive, a car key fob, or even an asthma inhaler, many parents and teachers of high school students are unaware of when a teen is engaging in e-cigarette use.
Can E-cigarettes help you quit cigarettes?
E-cigarettes have also been marketed as a tool to help people quit smoking. However, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), people who smoke traditional cigarettes and then switch to e-cigarettes in order to quit are more likely to use both methods than to quit smoking altogether.
Isn't vapor just....vapor?
The vapor or “vape” that is exhaled when a person uses an e-cigarette contains aerosol, flavorings, and other chemicals. Users and bystanders breathe in this unhealthy vapor when the user exhales into the air.
It is true that you can use a cartridge, also known as a pod, which only contains flavoring for an e-cigarette. It is the appeal of nicotine without the associated smoke or odor of traditional cigarettes, however, that contributes to the increase in use among young people. According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, the National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that the use of electronic cigarettes among 12th grade students nearly doubled from 11% in 2017 to 21% 2018. Students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grade reported that are more likely to vape than smoke.
Young people who use e-cigarettes are far more likely to start smoking traditional tobacco products than non-users within 6 months— 30.7% compared to 8.1%.
Teens and Vaping
With massive youth-targeted marketing campaigns, it is not surprising that 66% of teens believe e-cigarettes only contain flavorings and only 13.2% of teens believe they contain nicotine.
In order to prevent future use, it is important to start an open dialogue about vaping with teens.
- If there’s a natural opportunity to bring up vaping or “e-cigs”, don’t hesitate to start a discussion. It’s more likely that a teen will be receptive if the topic comes up naturally rather than a scheduled talk.
- Explain the health risks of vaping for young adults, including the negative effect on brain development, difficulty concentrating, and poor impulse control.
- Try texting to keep a dialogue going in a casual way — share a link to the Report of the Surgeon General, a helpful website, or remind them how hard it is to quit a nicotine addiction, etc.
Interested in more information about e-cigarettes or in CARE’s school presentation on preventing youth vaping? Call us at (586) 542-2273.
We will never give up on you. We’re here for you when you’r’e ready.