February 9, 2019
E-cigarettes have become the new teen rage. Teens interviewed in a recent study felt that vaping was safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. Don’t let your kids be fooled!
E-cigarettes are not FDA regulated, therefore, the compounds in the liquid being smoked do not have to be disclosed on labels. Dr. Robin Deterding, pulmonologist for The Children’s Hospital in Denver, said that we have nicotine and unknown compounds being smoked which is risking these teen’s health, development, addiction and future unknowns. We don’t know the effects of inhaling these metals and unknown compounds. 9News video on Vaping.
Surveys on Vaping
Surveys show that 90% of all adults that smoke started smoking cigarettes as a teenager. Of the habitual e-cigarette users (vaping), 38% have never smoked tobacco products before. Recent studies show that e-cigarette use among teens has surpassed tobacco cigarette use and serve as an entry point into the use of nicotine, an addictive drug. The CDC looked at 37 states and found that 26% of High School students Vaped. Colorado had twice the national average of high school students that vaped which was the highest in the nation. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD has noted that from 2017 to 2018 there has been a 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students. Gottlieb has been active on this issue and promises to make changes. To date all that has been done is “a proposal for new steps to protect youth by preventing access to flavored tobacco products and banning menthol in cigarettes.”
We have known for years the effects that cigarettes have on our health. The deaths and illnesses caused by smoking cigarettes are the #1 preventable disease that kills thousands each year yet the FDA did not start regulating cigarettes until 2009! So, we now have a new entry level for our youth to become addicted to nicotine with no FDA regulations. This scares me. This is a disgrace. It took years of documented deaths due to the use of long-term cigarette smoking. The FDA never began to regulate cigarettes until 2009. Lobbyist for smoking e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes are very strong and effective. We will already be seeing the devastating effects from inhaling unknown substances before the FDA is able to regulate e-cigarettes.
Parents…What you need to know!
Kids that are Vaping e-cigarettes do not smell like cigarette smoke. The devices they use to Vap can be hidden in in the form of what looks like a writing pen or a flash drive. Things that you would not think twice about finding on them or in their school backpack.
Neurotoxins found in vaping liquid is one of the most concerning next to carcinogens found in vaping liquid. Neurotoxins in vaping liquid is a risk to brain function. These 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.
Our duty as parents is to become invested in the knowledge of e-cigarettes. Children and teens don’t fully have a grasp on consequences because they are young. Many have not seen someone that has gone through a devastating painful death due to smoking and more importantly are feeling immortal and very cool fitting in by doing something that is seemingly harmless and “better than smoking traditional cigarettes.”
Second hand smoke from being around others that vap also has negative effects on those around them. The second hand smoke from vaping and vaping liquid if ingested by kids or animals is toxic.
Children that have older siblings that vap are also at higher risk as they are exposed at an earlier age to it and again do not equate the destruction of long-term consequences described earlier or addiction to nicotine.
A call to action
As a health care provider of children and teens and as a mother, this new vaping has me so concerned and I feel the need to educate our patients, their families and anyone that we can reach to help educate our community on vaping amongst our young kids and teens. Many of the kids interviewed are introduced to vaping as early as 11-13 years of age.
Please take the time to read the information that I have included and go beyond what is in this article to understand just how dangerous this new deceiving habit is that will change the lives of some of our children. Talk to your kids, know their friends, know what they do and most of all let them know how much you care about them and why you have such interest in their lives. Make this the reason to get closer to your kids if they have started pushing you away and want to be more private. This is normal for teens as they are becoming more independent but that does not mean they get to cut you out of their lives.
This is the tuff stage of parenting as this is when they need us the most. They are subject to so many changes both physically and emotionally. Pressures and social media that we never experienced when growing up to the extent that they are. Be their watchdog, be their rock but most importantly be there for them and believe in them. Help them learn from their mistakes… we all make them. Support them and love on them.