WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
E-CIGARETTE VAPOR IS NOT SAFE.
The aerosol emited can contain harmful substances, including heavy metals such as lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents. 1
DON'T WAIT TILL IT'S TOO LATE
E-CIGARETTE USE HARMS THE DEVELOPING BRAIN.
E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, a harmful drug to the brain and body.
Teens are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine since the brain is still developing during these years and through young adulthood. 1
Why Is Nicotine Unsafe for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.
A recent CDC study found that 99% of the e-cigarettes sold in the United States contained nicotine.
Some e-cigarette labels do not disclose that they contain nicotine, and some e-cigarettes marketed as containing 0% nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.
Nicotine can harm the developing adolecent brain, especially the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.
Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs. 2
What Is in E-cigarette Aerosol?
E-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.”
The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
- Volatile organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead
The aerosol that users inhale and
exhale from e-cigarettes can expose both themselves and bystanders to harmful substances.
It is impossible for consumers to really know what e-cigarette products contain. 2
What Are the Other Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?
Scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.
Some of the ingredients in e-cigarette aerosol could also be harmful to the lungs in the long-term. For example, some e-cigarette flavorings may be safe to eat but not to inhale because the gut can process more substances than the lungs.
Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused some fires and explosions, a few of which have resulted in serious injuries.
Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes. Nationally, approximately 50% of calls to poison control centers for e-cigarettes are for kids 5 years of age or
TALKING WITH YOUR TEEN ABOUT VAPING
Use these tips to talk with your teen:
- Check in frequently to see how they are doing;
- Choose informal times to talk, such as in the car, during dinner, or while watching TV;
- Be clear and consistent about your expectations regarding vaping and other substance use;
- Establish family agreements together for social and extracurricular activities;
- Let them know you care and are always there for them; and Continue talking with your teens as they get older. 3
DON'T WAIT TILL IT'S TOO LATE
Help your teen create an “exit plan” in case he or she is offered an e-cigarette or faced with a difficult decision about vaping (such as texting a code word to a family member). Peer pressure can be powerful, so coming up with realistic action steps and practicing them together in a safe environment will prepare and empower your teen to make good choices when it matters.
It’s never too late to start talking with your teen about the risks of vaping. As teens age, they make more decisions on their own and face greater temptation and peer pressure. Though it may not seem like it, teens really do hear your concerns. It’s important you help them understand what e-cigarettes and other vaping products are, and why they shouldn’t use them. 3
WHY ARE YOUNG PEOPLE VAPING?
Teens and young adults vape for many reasons, including peer pressure and wanting to fit in with friends. They may also be curious about all the different flavored vaping liquids available to them. Companies that produce vaping liquids create appealing flavors, such as apple pie or vanilla, to attract teens and get them hooked on their product. 3
IDENTIFY THE SIGNS
Recognizing signs of vaping can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. One of the most telling signs that your teen may be vaping is the presence of vaping equipment among his or her belongings. Vaping equipment includes e-cigarettes, flavored liquid bottles, and small pods or cartridges that can contain THC oil. It’s important to know that e-cigarettes come in many different shapes and sizes, and may not resemble a tobacco product. Many often resemble a pen or flash drive that can be plugged into a laptop to charge. 3
Other signs include, but are not limited to:
- A faint scent of flavoring in your house that you can’t locate or identify
- An increase in your teen’s thirst level;
- A rise in the number and frequency of nosebleeds your teen experiences;
- A decrease in your teen’s caffeine
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU QUIT VAPING
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Quitting doesn’t have to be a solo journey. With This is Quitting — the first-ever text-to-quit vaping service — the help and support you need is just a text away. All you have to do to get started is text DITCHJUUL to 88709 or visit thetruth.com for more information.
BecomeAnEX is a free, digital quit-smoking plan and online community of thousands of smokers and ex-smokers developed by Truth Initiative in collaboration with Mayo Clinic. It has helped more than 910,000 people develop the skills and confidence to successfully quit. Research has shown that following the BecomeAnEX quit plan quadruples a tobacco user's chance of quitting.
The EX Program provides an enterprise-level tobacco cessation program designed for employers and health plans. The EX Program has an active social network of thousands of smokers and ex-smokers and delivers proven quit-smoking treatment via interactive quitting tools and video, live chat, text message, email, and quit medication. It also includes personalized, digital coaching and medication support from tobacco treatment specialists at the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and Truth Initiative. Find out more.
RESOURCES WITH MORE INFORMATION ABOUT VAPING
Below are links to resources with information about vaping. We would like to continue to add to this list. If you find a good link that you would like to add to this list please email it to: email@example.com
Operation Parent is a passionate group of parents who understand how the right resources, provided at the right time, can positively impact families for generations to come. They provide monthly webinars, e-books, videos, and other resources provide parents with the latest information on today’s toughest parenting issues related to technology, alcohol and drugs, mental health, risky relationships, and more. Operation Parent connects parents with the tools they need to encourage them along their journey, providing additional information and connection to other parents through social media.
An Evidence-Based Resource Guide published by SAMHSA.
This guide contains a foreword and five chapters. The chapters stand alone and do not need to be read in order. Each chapter is designed to be brief and accessible to school administrators, community members, policy makers, and others working to prevent and reduce youth vaping.
This fact sheet for teens provides facts about vaping. It describes short- and long-term effects and lists signs of vaping. The fact sheet helps to dispel common myths about vaping. Access sources and references cited in this fact sheet.
This guide is intended to help you have an important talk about vaping with your kids. Sure, they may think you are uncool and annoying for bringing this up, but it is important that you do. The health risks are real and they need you to fight for them. Have The Vape Talk with your kids today.