If you have kids in middle or high school, chances are you’ve heard of vaping. McLaren of Greater Lansing has listed important things you should know about vaping to protect yourself or your children.
Vaping is relatively new to the United States as it’s only been around for about a decade. Vaping is when vapor is inhaled/exhaled through an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, and mods. The most popular vaping brands among teens and above are JUUL and Suorin.
One of the most concerning aspects of vaping is the lack of research on the long-term effects, considering how new it is. As for the danger of vaping compared to cigarettes, Ammar Ghanem, MD, pulmonologist, at McLaren Greater Lansing, said “We do know that vaping devices have about 20 different chemicals in them compared to cigarettes, which have over 4,000 chemicals in them. Even though there are fewer chemicals, there are still harmful chemicals, including nicotine. Vapers become potentially more harmful if flavoring is added, which is not currently regulated by the FDA.”
E-cigarettes have become the most commonly used form of tobacco among middle and high schoolers according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Approximately one in ten teens have tried vaping with an ENDS system.
To understand the difference between cigarettes and vaping, just look at the nicotine amounts in each. For example, a JUUL is a type of e-cigarette in which a JUUL ‘pod’ is inserted into a JUUL device (reference image below). According to JUUL Labs, one pod contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, about 200 puffs.
E-cigarettes can be a good option for those looking to quit smoking but they are only meant to be used for a few weeks to help wean people off cigarettes and nicotine completely.
All tobacco products are now regulated by the FDA and are illegal for those under the age of 18 to purchase. Since August 8, 2016, the FDA now requires health warnings to be placed on tobacco products, has implemented stricter marketing regulations, and does not allow tobacco companies to provide samples of their products.
Even with the new FDA regulations, Dr. Ghanem is still concerned about the middle and high schoolers. “When 11 percent of high schoolers are vaping, that is a high number,” he expressed. Just because your child may not be vaping at this moment does not mean it isn’t likely for them to start in the future.”
For more information about vaping, visit www.mclaren.org.