Vaping has not only become popular, but it has also simultaneously emerged as a matter of concern. E-cigarettes are not new in the market, but the rate at which the young teen population is getting hooked to it is alarming and calls for preventive measures.
A study in 2017 revealed that there were 2.1 million school students who frequently vaped e-cigarettes. With such data floating around, it becomes important to take necessary action to reduce school vaping among teens. Seems that the different e-cigars brands have made things worse with all the enticing flavors on the offing.
It is the high level of nicotine in these electronic cigars that make them highly addictive. The FDA had announced that it would be cracking down on illegal sales of vaping products, especially after there was an unexpected surge in deaths and unexplained medical conditions among middle and high-school kids. This development has sounded an alarm among teachers, medical professionals, and parents.
To address the problem, let’s first understand what is vaping and how it has been negatively impacting school children.
What is Vaping
You might be familiar with the term already. Although vaping is simple terms can be defined as an action of inhaling and exhaling a vapor that is produced upon heating of nicotine, this is often regarded as “JUUL-ing”. JUUL is the abbreviation for Juice USB Lighting. Liquid nicotine is used in the process. Any device meant for the purpose such as a vape pen, e-cigarette or a vaporizer can be used to heat the liquid.
Vaping companies may not agree but there are health risks associated with inhaling tobacco. The risks may be relatively less severe than that of vaping combustible nicotine cigarettes. Children are most vulnerable in their teenage and although such products may not be directly marketed to teens, the attractive images, animation, and all that color can be suggested enough to trap young kids.
Social media has made things worse with kids wanting to indulge in vaping activities to prove their ‘happiness’ to the rest of the world. Most kids who experienced it reported that it improved their social status.
Vaping e-cigarettes and associated risks
As parents, guardians, well-wishers, it’s one’s responsibility to be aware and spread awareness on risks of inhaling vape liquids. Here are a few common risks involved:
High levels of nicotine
Regardless of the juice brand, quality, or flavor one pick’s up, e-cigarettes contain high nicotine levels. The concentration levels of nicotine can be higher than that present in a pack of combustible cigarettes. Well, if that surprises you, it’s time to save your loved ones from getting addicted.
Can retard intellectual abilities
As observed by health experts, some studies that involved teenagers who vaped revealed how it can impact their thinking ability. Adolescents who vaped displayed a rise in their alertness initially, but over a period, the same children reportedly displayed a decrease in their attention and became increasingly restless.
Can impact health
Be it combustible cigarettes or its electronic counterparts, these contain carcinogenic components that can be harmful to all age groups. In a study that tested adolescents who vaped more found higher traces of such compounds in their urine. Also, such substances can irritate the lungs and damage the organ in the long run, causing the immune system to weaken further.
Research indicates that vaping can cause an increase in one’s heart rate, thus altering blood pressure levels. This can complicate things and deter a healthy lifestyle. For instance, a study showed that teenagers who vaped could not sustain the heart rate required for swimming comfortably.
Can trigger other kinds of substance abuse
Although it would vary from person-to-person, given the vulnerability of their age, teenagers are susceptible to the thrill of experimentation. This could easily put them at a high risk of whiffing other kinds of substances such as Marijuana as well. Moreover, e-cigars can be easily used in public places as well which increase the chances of its discreet use, even in schools.
Hop over to this site for information on ways to prevent teens from drug addiction.
Why should it be a cause of concern?
Of course, the health risk is one factor why people should try to keep their kids away from vaping. But it’s important to know that any form of addiction is not only detrimental to a child’s physical health but can also impact his/her behavior, reputation, and performance.
As the Office of the US Surgeon General puts it, there is more than one health risk associated with early vapers as these liquids contain a host of chemicals along with heavy metals.
Some of these metals like tin, nickel, lead can cause severe damage to the human respiratory system. Moreover, exposure or addiction to such substances can make it difficult focus and can have a negative impact on the brain.
Such risks put parents and other concerned authorities to task. And it may not be as easy to call off any such habits at once. Most parents report that it is probably the flavor that kids get easily addicted to. Studies show that kids who vape are at a high risk of smoking cigarettes as well.
The information on the packaging also adds to the woes as kids feel that they only get exposed to 5% nicotine. However, the rest as they imagine is neither just vapor nor water.
Speaking to kids regarding their addictive habits isn’t easy and the best way to do it would be by first educating oneself as a parent. Teenagers are curious and it would in their interest to primarily understand their world of social acceptance and apprehensions of sharing it with parents.
Experts advise parents to start a friendly conversation with their children as this can help parents to get an understanding of the vaping scene at school. Subsequently, they can ask their children about their experience, flavors that they like, and so on. This will also give parents a sense of how much their kids know about such products.
Amicable talks are always a better way to gauge your child’s mind and use it as a gateway to educate them accordingly.
With kids interacting with their peer group at school, it becomes imperative for the school authorities to also participate in the process of educating kids about the ill-effects of vaping. They can devise a plethora of educational methodologies to train not just the students but also rope in parents in the process.
Experts suggest that early identification can help as prevention is better than cure. However, if you see your child has become addicted and is struggling to get rid of the addiction, you can always consult recognized institutions that provide relevant deaddiction treatments.