Your Kid is Vaping!
By Nancy Kislin, LCSW and MFT and Parenting Educator
The hottest new trend amongst high school kids is “vaping”. Ask your teen if they have tried an e-cig. Don’t be surprised if they say “Yes, everyone does it. It no big deal – it’s safe. It’s legal.”
Several of my clients just last week told me they started vaping. Their responses when asked why they are vaping include:
What are e-cigs or “vaping”?
Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigs) are battery-operated vaporizers that are designed to mimic the feeling of smoking a tobacco cigarette. They usually use flavoring which may or may not contain nicotine, but they are always without tobacco. Instead of traditional smoking, their inhaling is called vaping. An e-cigarette can be activated by either pressing a power or fire button or by simply taking a puff. Initially, they were designed to look like traditional tobacco cigarettes, but now with nearly 300 brands, they come in all shapes and sizes, and can look like anything such as pens and memory sticks.
What are the dangers of Vaping?
E-cigarettes don't fill the lungs with harmful smoke, but that doesn't make them a safe alternative to regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes still put nicotine — which is absorbed through your lungs — into your system. In addition to being an addictive drug, nicotine is also toxic in high doses.
Nicotine affects your brain, nervous system, and heart. It raises blood pressure and heart rate. The larger the dose of nicotine, the more a person's blood pressure and heart rate go up.
E-cigs or vaping pens also use “fruity” flavorings or marijuana oil.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that teens are still ingesting nicotine at a higher rate than experts expected. The study tracked “the use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among 5,490 California high school seniors who graduated between 1995 and 2014” and found that because of vaping, teens report inhaling nicotine at rates researchers haven’t seen since the ‘90s.
Parents and educators still need to educate kids about the dangers of nicotine. They need to talk about the risks and the consequences. The lessons of "how bad cigarettes are" is being lost on this generation.
Why you need to know about vaping!
Vaping is a trend that is a growing phenomena with tweens and teens.
Many kids are using pens or a product called Juul. Juul is referred to the “Apple” of vaping. But the design isn’t the only commendable thing about Juul, it’s incredibly easy to use and claims to outperform some of the more expensive competitors.
The cost of these products range from $49.99 to $89.99 for starter kits. Some kids brag at how many they are collecting. Although you can buy cheaper versions at local stores.
Another popular brand is called Halo. Halo is available online and has a wide variety of colors, designs, and flavors that can include nicotine or not. Kits range from $49.99 to over $90.00. Are you interested? They make it very appealing to the tweens and teens.
It is illegal for retailers to sell to anyone under 19 years of age. Sellers can be prosecuted. The result of this is that the younger teens without a "fake identity card" relies on older kids to supply them with their "nicotine pods" and "marijuana dabs." If I have confused you by now - it means we now have local "dealers" selling to our kids at younger ages. This is the Perfect Storm - Vaping is the Gateway to early and more frequent use of marijuana and other drugs.
Some of the Newest Trends
1 in 4 teens who have used e-cigarettes have also tried a potentially dangerous new vaping method called "dripping" — dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the device to produce thicker, more flavorful smoke — a new study found.
"Dripping” is the slow release of the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, which may expose users to higher levels of nicotine and to harmful non-nicotine toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — known carcinogens, according to the journal Pediatrics. KIDS ARE VAPING with Marijuana oil which makes it really easy to get high just about anywhere. Yes – your kid may be getting high during class, in the hallways and of course, the bathrooms.Marijuana oil is the same as THC oil and Cannabis oil. The advantages of vaping the oil is that it has no odor, easy to use and you can do it anywhere.
And did you know that Marijuana is still illegal everywhere in this country if you are under 21 years of age. And yes – that means it is illegal for your kid to get high and drive.
Manufacturers are marketing to younger kids with flavors such as bubble gum and gummy bear. They are targeting your kids and in many cases it is working. It is creating a habit of holding a device in their hands, bringing it to their mouths, enjoying the sensation and thus – on the path to addiction.
Vaping is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes.
To learn more go to or google Vaping and e-cigarettes. Knowledge is power and you need to be in the know!
I have witnessed young teens promise me, their parents and most importantly themselves that they will never "binge drink, smoke pot and vape." In record time, our conversation changed drastically in a few weeks. Vaping on any device makes it so easy to become addicted.
- you can do it anywhere - and they are.
- a few inhales creates a powerful buzz from the nicotine and the marijuana
- there is no smell at the time or a smell that lingers
- easy access to buying
- enhances this generation of kids need for immediate gratification
Check back regularly to my blogs. I am researching more on this dreadful situation.
Health Care professionals I have consulted with all agree the trend is growing and we do not know the long term consequences of vaping.
Talk to your kids! Don't be afraid to say NO!