The Dangers of e-Cigarettes!
There are two common misconceptions about e-cigarettes (or vaping). First, due to the claims found in many e-cigarette advertisements, people often believe that e-cigarettes will help them to quit smoking. Second, many people (often teenagers) believe e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. Both are untrue!
E-cigarettes will help you to quit smoking!
E-cigarettes are often falsely advertised as a way to help smokers quit. This claim has not been substantiated and e-cigarettes are not recommended by the nation’s leading health organizations as a quitting method. Individuals seeking to quit smoking should call the state quit line or speak to their doctor.
E-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes!
Electronic cigarettes are NOT safer than regular cigarettes as they contain cancer-causing chemicals, including nicotine.
The Risks for Teenagers and Children
E-cigarettes are sold in many shapes, colors, sizes, and even flavors (bubble gum, vanilla, chocolate, etc.) that can be appealing to a younger audience. E-cigarette usage has doubled among middle and high school students in recent years and a 2014 CDC survey shows that e-cigarettes are the most frequently used tobacco product among youths.
Update: As of August 2016, the FDA has banned the sale of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-pipes, e-cigars, hookah pens, etc.) to people below the age of 18, and photo identification is required if the person may be below 27. You also cannot get them from a vending machine or self-service display unless it is in an adult-only facility. By May 2018, all packages will require a health warning on the package/box and any advertisements.
E-cigarettes also do not follow the same rules as other tobacco products. This results in varying levels of nicotine (and other harmful ingredients) from one e-cigarette cartridge to another. The nicotine levels are not the same across brands, and may even differ from what is listed on a given cartridge’s label.
What Can Parents Do?
Talk to your children and teenagers! Discuss the risks and dangers of e-cigarette use with your children, just like you would talk to them about alcohol, drug use, or sex.
If you’re a parent who smokes e-cigarettes, be sure to always keep them away from your kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges all parents to store their e-cigarettes and refill solutions in child-resistant packaging and out of the reach of children. Only a half-teaspoon full of e-cigarette liquid that contains nicotine can be fatal for a child.