Parent Alert: Vaping Signals A Rising Danger for Kids
By Sandy Schroeder
Among the many dangers out there for kids, vaping may be one for parents to take a closer look at right now.
Vaping uses a personal vaporizer or electronic cigarette. Water, flavors, nicotine and more chemicals are heated to a boiling point for inhalation. At first, the process was billed as a way to help individuals stop smoking. But now the red flags are going up, as vaping seems to be settling into the teen culture as the new coolest thing to do, which later tends to lead to smoking, according to health authorities.
Nicotine Risk for Kids' Brains
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy warns, “The e-cigarette can cause lasting health damage. Nicotine is highly addictive, and can damage brains until age 25.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 of every 6 high school students has used e-cigarettes in the past month. CDC says 600,000 middle school students are now regularly using e-cigarettes. Pointing to advertising as a major instigator, Murthy said e-cigarette advertising to the teen market went from $6.4 million in 2011 to $115 million in 2014.
Glamour Appeal to Kids
High tech development of products, and celebrity promotions, have helped to create this fashionable electronic toy that is available online or in corner markets. Flavors, often in slick packaging, include Dr. Pepper, bubble gum and cotton candy.
Not surprising, according to the Huffington Post, vaping has now become a party game with tricks and competitions. Tricks like blowing smoke into an “O” shape are repeatedly showing up on social media.
The e-cigarettes are made to look like compact pens that can be easily slipped into jacket pockets or backpacks.
In response, the Food and Drug Administration, now requires proof of age 18 to buy e-cigarettes. But the FDA has not banned e-cigarette advertising to minors, or prohibited the sale of candy-flavors.
Added to all of this, there have been new reports of batteries for these devices exploding in hands or pockets, sending users to the hospital with serious burns.
If you have teens, or know others who do, this may be the time to get involved to spotlight this problem at the local, state and federal level. We can all start asking more questions, checking out the products in local markets, and talking to kids about the issue. The more openness there is on the dangers, the amount of use, and the need to do more to fight it, the better.
At a time when cigarette use had actually begun to drop, this may be a warning of where the next wave of smokers will come from.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.