Teenage Vape Usage and Effects

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. Vaping has gotten much more popular among teenagers in the past few years. Teens often vape because vapes come in fun flavors, have sleek enticing packaging, and can be charged in a USB port. Teens have been led to believe that vapes are much less harmful than cigarettes.

Now, many more teenagers use e-cigarettes, like the brand JUUL, than traditional cigarettes. There are restrictions on the sale and advertising of e-cigarettes to young people, but many teenagers still use them. When teens vape, they’re inhaling steam that comes from hot nicotine liquid. E-cigarettes, vape pens and JUULs are all different devices for heating the liquid. Research shows that vaping has many medical risks.

E-cigarettes contain a lot of nicotine, which is very addictive. Getting addicted to nicotine can make it harder for teenagers to focus and concentrate in school and while driving. E-cigarettes also contain chemicals that could cause cancer, and there are many reports of serious lung problems connected to vaping. Additionally, vaping can make teenagers more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes. Vaping is bad for teens because it can cause extreme nicotine addiction, loss of concentration, lung illness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and damage to the immune system.

Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes don’t have a strong smell, so it’s much easier for kids to use them in secret. The kid-friendly packaging and flavors of JUUL and other popular vape brands make vaping look fun, so even kids who wouldn’t try cigarettes may be tempted. Teens often think that vaping isn’t dangerous, and it’s easy for underage kids to buy vaping devices online.

If you’re worried your child might be vaping, start with a general conversation. Try asking if other kids at their school vape, and what they think about it. By finding out what they already know, you can start helping them understand the risks. This usually works better than just telling them that vaping is wrong. If your child is addicted to vaping, make sure to get care from an addiction specialist. Addiction to nicotine from vaping can be even more serious than addiction to regular cigarettes. If your teenager is vaping, start by educating yourself on the topic and ask your teen open-ended questions about their experience. If your teen has developed a nicotine addiction, there are several treatment options available.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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