Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. Vaping devices come in various size and shapes, and can be used with different flavors

They were introduced to the mass market in the U.S. in 2007

Juul (pronounced “jewel”) is a popular brand of e-cigarette produced by JUUL Labs, Inc.  They are marketed as a smoking cessation product, however, it is not FDA approved.

Generally, a vaping device consists of a mouthpiece, a battery, a cartridge for containing the e-liquid or e-juice, and a heating component for the device that is powered by a battery.

When the device is used, the battery heats the heating component, which turns the contents of the e-liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs and then exhaled.


Above: Popular E-Cigarette Brands

There are numerous vape brands on the market. JUUL is the number one brand of choice by youth.



Vernon Rockville

  • 19% of RHS students report using e-cigarettes within the last year.




Sweet/ Flavorful

They also use packaging that resembles candies and sweets that are appealing to youth.

Countless vaping brands produce thousands of vaping flavors that are enticing to youth like mango, cotton candy, mint, lemon, cinnamon bun, buttered popcorn, sour apple, no-bake cheesecake, etc.

They also use packaging that resembles candies and sweets that are appealing to youth.

Easy to Access

These products are readily available at convenient stores and can be purchased easily online with minimal safeguards to age restrictions. 

A Misconception That it is Safe

Vaping is marketed as a better alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes and as a smoking cessation device but they are not approved by the FDA for that purpose and research shows people who vape are more likely to use other nicotine products as well. Vaping has been proven to pose serious health risks, in fact it is an independent risk factor to respiratory/ lung diseases


Vaping devices and e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug.

According to the Surgeon General, because the brain isn’t fully developed until the mid-20s, youth and young adults are uniquely at risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposing their developing brains to nicotine.

  • Risks include: nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.  And it can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other substances.

E-cigarette use among youth and young adults is strongly linked to the use of other tobacco products such as regular cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco.

Due to changes in the brain, quitting is harder for those who start at a young age. Prevention is key.


Nicotine, is a stimulant drug found in all tobacco products and E-cigarettes. It is extremely addictive, and one of the most commonly abused drug.

Nicotine and the body

Found in the e-liquids, it is absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream. From the bloodstream, nicotine stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine.  Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. Nicotine activates the brain’s reward circuits and increases the levels of dopamine, which reinforces rewarding behaviors. The pleasure caused by nicotine is why people continue to use the products despite the consequences to their health and well-being. 





Signs your child may be vaping

  • There are unexplained sweet/ flavorful smells
  • There are unfamiliar school supplies in your child’s things 
  • You have noticed unexplained chargers or batteries.  
  • Your child has increased mood swings, irritability, or anxiety
  • Your kid has been feeling nauseous or experiencing frequent headaches 

Before Talking to Your Child

  • Know the facts
  • Be patient and ready to LISTEN
  • Set a positive example by being nicotine-free
  • Try to create the conversation naturally a “we need to talk” conversation is oftentimes intimidating. Instead try to bring it up naturally like when you and your child see someone vaping or see advertisements about it, simply ask your child what their opinions are about it.   
  • Talk often, along the same lines of creating it naturally, by talking about it regularly you are opening the dialogue for your child to ask questions when they are ready and it is less stressful for them, opposed to having one big conversation.

During the Conversation

  • Ask your child’s attitude on vaping
  • Provide reasons to avoid engaging in vaping
  • Ask open-ended questions and give your child a chance to voice their opinion.
  • The Surgeon General provides additional resources that can be implemented to improve your conversation and reduce youth vaping. Access them  HERE

Questions That May Arise

Child:  “What is the big deal with nicotine?”

Adult:  “Nicotine is a drug that causes severe dependence, especially in the developing brain.  It can make it harder for you to concentrate, learn, or control your impulses.  And it can even train your brain to be more easily addicted to other substances.”


Child:  “I thought vaping was a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes?”

Adult: “There is nothing safe about vaping.  The “water vapor” is an aerosol which contains harmful things that go into your lungs like metals and toxic particles.  Also, vapes contain nicotine which is extremely addictive drug and damaging for the adolescent brain.”

Child: “I thought vaping was just flavors?”

Adult: “No, although it was often marketed as “water vapor” and many people believed that, it actually contains metals and toxins as well as nicotine.” 



Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse; Connecticut Department of Public Health; Federal Food and Drug Administration; US Department of Health and Human Services, American Journal of Preventative Medicine 

Revised November 2021

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