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E-cigarettes – Cause for Concern

E-cigarettes – Cause for Concern 6/21/19Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigs, e-hookahs, vapes, mods or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems).  They are made to look like regular cigarettes, pens, cigars, pipes, guitar picks and even a small cellphone, as well as other household items.

JUUL is an e-cigarette that looks like a USB stick (flash drive).  Using it is referred to as Juuling.

No matter what its shape or name, using an e-cigarette to inhale and exhale aerosol vapor is called vaping, and it can be done without creating any smoke or smoke odors. 

Vaping has become a problem.  Current statistics are that more than 3.6 million U.S. youth use e-cigarettes, including one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students.

Unfortunately, people have been fallen prey to the tactics companies use to advertise and promote the devices and products, and simply do not realize the harm they are doing to themselves by vaping. 

Most e-cigarettes have a battery, a heating element and a place to hold a liquid. The liquid that is used in e-cigarettes most often contains nicotine, even though some manufacturers claim it does not.  Also included in the liquid are flavorings and other chemicals. 

The e-cigarette produces an aerosol by heating the liquid, and users inhale this mixture into their lungs and then exhale a cloud of vapor.  

Although users may claim that the vapor is “just water,” it isn’t. Actually, it is formaldehyde and cancer-causing chemicals. The flavorings also are chemicals that have not been approved for inhalation into one’s lungs.

Most vapes do contain nicotine, even some the manufacturers claim do not. Nicotine is an addictive substance that makes e-cigarette use harmful to anyone, but especially adolescents and young adults whose brains still are developing.

NOW is the time for parents, grandparents and community members to make a difference by talking to the kids in their life about the risks and dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.CDC.gov) has many resources on this topic, as well as a tip sheet for parents at https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/SGR_ECig_ParentTipSheet_508.pdf.”

Source:  Kim Bushaw, NDSU Extension Family Science Specialist

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/e-cigarette-vaping-1301664/ (downloaded 6/25/19)

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