Vaping facts – Being a teenager is a memorable times of our lives. Whether the experiences are good, bad or somewhere in between – it is an integral part of our development into adulthood. Each generation brings its own set of ideologies, as well as peer pressure to be part of something or identify with. It is no different with teenagers today. Adults who attempt to force their own ideologies on their children, albeit with good intentions, often find themselves at a loss – a ‘no win’ situation at best. Don’t try to be ‘cool’, that’s old, just ‘chillax’ instead. However, what can you do if your teenage son or daughter is taking part in an activity with the potential to seriously harm them?
Vaping, the inhaling and exhaling of a vapor created by an e-cigarette or other e-smoking device, was promoted as a way to help people quit smoking cigarettes when it first came on the market. Being a difficult challenge for many smokers who were trying to quit, it slowly grew in popularity. Vaping devices use cartridges filled with a liquid (or ‘juice’) with most containing nicotine, flavorings and even other chemicals. They do contain less nicotine than the highly addictive ingredients in tobacco which often makes it so difficult to quit – but what is alarming, depending on the size of the cartridge and how many are used in a day, the nicotine amount could be equal to smoking more than a pack a day of cigarettes. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development into the early to mid-20s. It can affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention and mood.
Is vaping harmful to our health?
Because the liquids contain nicotine, e-cigarettes can also lead to smoking cigarettes and addiction. Some users are even vaping with cannabis or THC oils. Health experts are reporting serious lung damage in people who vape, including deaths. Even e-cigarettes without nicotine have chemicals in them with the potential to damage lungs. Teenagers are being targeted with professional marketing strategies, enticing them with flavoured liquids and images showing young and healthy people vaping.
Vaping facts – Here in Quebec, it is illegal to sale any vape products to anyone under the age of 18 and a photo ID is required to purchase any products. Online sales are also illegal to minors and vaping is banned in the same places where tobacco smoking is banned. Excluding the advertising of vaping products in magazines and newspapers with an adult readership of 85% or more, advertising anywhere else is forbidden. It also forbidden to display e-cigarettes and vaping products in stores that are accessible to minors and windows must have frosted glass to keep people viewing what is inside. But our youth are wise to the ways of circumventing regulations. Getting somebody over the age of 18 years to buy vaping products for them in stores or online is not that difficult.
Is vaping better for you than cigarettes?
A recent Health Canada survey showed that 23% of students in grades 7 to 12 have tried an electronic cigarette. As of December 10th 2019, 14 cases of vaping-associated lung illness have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada: British Columbia (3), New Brunswick (2), Ontario (4) and Quebec (5). Eleven of those people required admission to a hospital and all but one were recovering at home – with the ages of three of those cases being 15 to 19 years old. People are getting sick and even dying from vaping. As of November 20th 2019, a total of 47 deaths linked to vaping products were confirmed in the US. It is not only time, but it is imperative adults speak to their children and make them aware of the dangers associated with the use of vaping products. Talk to them about the reports of serious lung damage and deaths. They might not want to hear it, but hopefully your words will echo in their minds when they are faced with pressure from their peers. It can become a ‘win-win’ situation for everyone.