Most kids don't smoke, which is a good thing. But more and more kids are using e-cigarettes, also known as aerosol cigarettes. Electric cigarettes contain nicotine and harmful chemicals that can be just as addictive as incense cigarettes. More than 2 million kids are using aerosol smoke, and many more say they'd like to try it. Many powerful factors that influence children's use of aerosol smoke include 1. Peer pressure: know someone who uses aerosol smoke. 2. Media: mass targeted advertising. 3. Pop Culture -- Aerosol smoke is ubiquitous on social media, TV shows, and movies. 4. Variety of flavors: Aerosol smoke is produced with spices that make it smell and taste like pancakes, gum, and thousands of other flavors. 5. Misled: Believing that e-cigarettes are safe to use.
Message from parents has a stronger impact. The powerful message you present at the right time will be heard by your child. Start talking to your child about this at about age 5 and continue until they graduate from high school. Even if your child doesn't seem to be listening to you, they can. You can talk to your child about what you have learned and are still learning about e-cigarettes and vaping. Set an example by yourself and don't smoke. Don't yell at your child, and don't humiliate or punish them, because it won't help them hear you.
Here are the facts:
Are e-cigarettes Harmful to Children and teens? Yes! E-cigarettes almost always contain nicotine, which can affect brain activity in young people, possibly making them less able to remember things and concentrate, leading to learning difficulties. One tank of e-liquid contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes. Children and teens are more likely to try regular cigarettes after using e-cigarettes. They may also use e-cigarettes to smoke atomized cannabis oil.
The aerosol created by heating e-liquids can contain harmful chemicals. Some of these chemicals, such as metaldehyde, benzene, and butadione, have been linked to the causes of cancer or lung disease. We do not yet know the long-term effects of exposure to these chemicals. Nearby people can also inhale the chemicals from the air. There have been several cases of lung damage linked to the use of different vaping products, including THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) tanks. People have been hospitalized, and some have even died.
Why are e-cigarettes so popular among children and teens? Because of the variety of flavors, ease of use, and pop culture! E-cigarette companies, some of which are owned by tobacco companies, have developed thousands of candy and fruit-flavored e-liquids favored by children and teens. The sweet smell makes e-cigarettes seem harmless, but they are not. The equipment used to smoke aerosols can be small and easily hidden in schools and homes. Advertising and pop culture make vaping look cool. Similar to the way tobacco products are advertised, e-cigarettes are often over-glamorized in movies, TV shows, and social media platforms. Teenagers have even posted videos on YouTube showing off their skills in "puffing" aerosol smoke.
The following section will discuss how to talk to children about tobacco.