Vaping continues to be on the rise

Vernon is off to a great start with a new school year. However, there is still a troubling trend that is increasing in our youth – Vaping. Within just the first few months of the school year, or RHS School Resource Officer reported that he had already collected an alarming number of vaping devices from students while on school grounds. For those who don’t know, it is illegal for minors (under the age of 18) to posses E-cigs and tobacco products in any form on public property such as schools.

Vaping and the use of E-Cigarettes are becoming extremely popular across multiple generations, but there are several misconceptions about the health effects from using them.

For starters, 98.7% of E-cigs sold contain nicotine, with varying amounts depending on the brand. In JUULs, the most popular e-cig device, one cartridge/pod contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. However, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) discovered that among today’s youth and young adults, 63% were unaware that JUULs contain any nicotine. E-cigs are not FDA approved, therefore the companies who make them have no responsibility to list accurate information of what the vape contains. This lack of transparency increases the change of youth becoming addicted to them because they are unaware of exactly what they are consuming.

A major concern of vaping are the flavors the liquids come in, which are the main appeal for most users – especially teenagers and young adults. Since these devices are a new fad, the long term health effects have not been studied. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that “some e-cigarette flavorings may be safe to eat but not to inhale because the human gut can process more substances than the lungs”.

On a positive note, JUUL recently announced that in an effort to combat underage use of their product they will be removing certain flavors (such as mango and cucumber) from purchase at stores, and making them available online only. Read more about JUUL’s changes here!

Besides the potential for internal damage the devices could do to your body, they can also cause harm on the outside. E-cigs are known to explode if poorly manufactured, stored improperly, or if the wrong charger is used or it is left on the charger too long!

With the potential of nicotine addiction for young, new users and so many other health uncertainties associated with vaping, it is best to avoid it all together if possible! However, there may be some benefit to vaping for individuals trying to ween themselves off of cigarettes/nicotine, as long as they are properly monitoring the amount of nicotine in the vape liquids they are using.

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