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.
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Teen, 15 years old written by Common sense LST

the number of people who smoke regular cigarettes has been going down a lot like crazy, and thats good news. however, in 2003, E-cigarettes, or vapes, were invented by a chinese pharmacist. whose dad was a heavy smoker. it has been advertised as being healthier than traditional cigarettes, but that is just not true. I used to believe that they were healthier than regular cigarettes that you smoke, and I saw this teenage guy using one at a local mall where I live, and I wasn't too worried, because I was like, at least he isn't using a regular cigarette. inside the mall. so young people might get hypnotized, like I did, into thinking that they are healthier than regular cigarettes. so teach them about the dangers of these items just like you would with traditional cigarettes, because studies say that they have chemicals like nicotine and formaldihyde in them. if your child/dren are already using these items, encourage them to quit and help support them.
Teen, 15 years old written by ElioElioElio

Many kids (mainly 12+) have experienced vaping of some sort or wish to, making it fairly normal in high school. They all have different reasons, but usually it is because they wanted to experiment, relax, fit in or use it socially (ex. parties). If you take a look at these reasons, they are all pretty common factors in decisions teenagers make for all sorts of things (drinking, sports, relationships, fashion, partying ect.) and they are pretty natural urges. My recommendation to parents is to have casual conversations about vaping with your kids. Discuss why it is attractive to them or their peers, why it is healthier than smoking and why it is dangerous. Its important to know why your child does these things, or has an interest, and usually it is key to whether they want to quit or not. Remember they are their own beings and it is this age that they are changing and learning about themselves and others.
Teen, 17 years old written by johnwellser

Most of the people who i go to school with either have a vape of some sort or at least have tried it. Every kid does it for different reasons. If your kid expresses that they want to try it or have one, just talk to them and find the reason behind it. Also, encourage them to get nictotine free juice