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E-cigarettes – Cause for Concern (part 2)

E-cigarettes – Cause for Concern 6/21/19

 The use of e-cigs, known as “vaping,” is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. 

Most vapes do contain nicotine.  Even some of the e-cigs that manufacturers claim do not contain nicotine actually do contain nicotine.

Nicotine is an addictive substance that makes e-cigarette use harmful to anyone, but especially adolescents and young adults because their brains are still developing.

Nicotine can -

  • disrupt brain development;
  • create permanent changes in the brain;
  • adversely impact learning, memory, attention, impulse control, mood and
  • jeopardize respiratory health; and
  • make the young person more susceptible to nicotine addiction.

A typical e-cig pod or cartridge contains about as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes, making it extremely dangerous around a curious young child.

In addition to nicotine, e-cigs can also contain other harmful substances. 

The risks and the sheer volume of youth using these devices has prompted a call to action by the U.S. Surgeon General. He emphasizes the importance of protecting our children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.

Companies selling these devices and products are openly and widely advertising them.  They often use bold marketing strategies targeted at youth on social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.  Cartoons and logos with cartoons are included in the advertising, further targeting young people.

Although combustible cigarettes and chewing tobacco have had advertising restrictions since 1999, this new e-cigarette/vaping industry has none. This, combined with candy flavors and names that appeal to youth, make the problem even greater.

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.

Quick facts about the risks of e-cigs for kids, teens and young adults is available online from the  CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html and a tip-sheet for parents is online 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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