Vaping is inhaling vapor from an e-cigarette, pen, or other device. These devices work by heating a liquid containing nicotine, marijuana or other drugs. Candy-like flavors add to their appeal.
Vaping is on the rise and many people think it is less harmful or less addictive than cigarettes. The truth is vaping is more dangerous than you may think.
What We Know
Research into the long term effects of vaping are ongoing and there is much we don't know.
Here is what we do know:
- E-cigarettes are just as addictive as regular cigarettes. In fact, you may be getting even more nicotine!
- Vaping won't necessarily help you quit smoking. Instead of switching you may end up using both.
- The chemicals in e-cigarettes have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.
Vaping and Lung Disease
A serious lung disease, Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Injury (VAPI), has recently been linked to vaping. Most cases of VAPI require hospitalization. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath, cough
- Fatigue, body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Call your doctor right away if you think you may have VAPI.
Is Your Teen Vaping?
It is harder to spot vaping than traditional cigarette use. Unlike cigarettes, vaping devices are easy to hide and smell sweet, which appeal to young teens. They can look like common objects such as pens or thumb drives. Take time to learn what these devices look like just in case you find them in your home.
Signs that your teen might be vaping
- Smells sweet or fruity for no reason
- Is jittery, anxious, or moody
- Has a cough that won't go away
- Has bloodshot eyes, shifts in behavior and mood, change in friends or activities
- Has a dry mouth, increased thirst or nose bleeds (e-liquid has a drying effect)
- Online purchases using your credit card or packages that come in the mail
What Parents Can Do
- Know the facts. Learn what vaping is and the signs of use.
- Talk to your kids. Ask open questions such as "What do you think about vaping?"
- Try to understand why a teen might vape. Knowing why is the first step to meet your child's needs in a healthier way.
- Set a good example. Let your child know how you feel about vaping. Be a good role model by being vape and smoke-free.