- Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking
- Back to School
- Cellphone Parenting
- Character Strengths and Life Skills
- Cyberbullying, Haters, and Trolls
- Early Childhood
- Facebook, Instagram, and Social
- Learning with Technology
- Marketing to Kids
- Mental Health
- News and Media Literacy
- Privacy and Internet Safety
- Screen Time
- Sex, Gender, and Body Image
- Special Needs and Learning Difficulties
- Technology Addiction
- Violence in Media
What's the impact of the e-cigarette and vaping industry on kids?
There's good news and bad news about the impact of the e-cigarette and vaping industry on kids. According to the Center for Disease Control's 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, but tobacco cigarette use fell steeply from 15.8 percent to 9.2 percent over the same period. Vaping (using smokeless cigarettes that use either tobacco or flavored glycerin capsules) and hookah use (hookahs are water pipes used with tobacco) increased too.
Anti-cigarette advocates worry that the market is targeting kids (with products such as fruit and "dessert" flavored Juuls and blinged-out vape pens) without regulation and without fully understanding the risks. Some of the potential hazards of the e-cig and vaping industry include: acting as a gateway to cigarettes, pot, or stronger nicotine products; introducing health problems such as lung disease; and addiction.
It's no surprise that e-cigs and vapes have become trendy with kids. They have a cool, technical allure, they're endorsed by celebrities, they're cheaper than cigarette packs over the long run, and -- because they generate a lot of vapor -- users can perform smoke-blowing tricks that are much more elaborate than smoke rings.
E-cigarettes and vapes do reduce exposure to some of the harmful chemicals of tobacco cigarettes, but no one really knows the impact of these products on kids' health. To help your kid avoid these products, try this:
- Explain that not much is known about these products' risks.
- Tell them that it's important that they wait until their brains and bodies have developed fully before they consume something that is potentially harmful.
- Point out that nicotine is highly addictive.
- Have your pediatrician talk to your kid about the dangers of ingesting any chemical you don't know much about.