Parents have you heard of vaping? It’s a new trend and thousands of teens across the country are participating. Vaping consists of battery powered electronic devices that vaporize liquids that contain harmful chemicals. Vape pens, electronic cigarettes, and hookah pens are all forms of vaping devices being sold at your local gas stations and convenience stores claiming to be an alternative to cigarettes. But what you may not know are the dangers behind these electronic devices. So here are three truths behind vaping.
Truth #1: No tobacco but formaldehyde?
Yes, formaldehyde, as in the same chemical that is used to preserve dead bodies. So while tobacco may be absent from vaping, formaldehyde is taking its place. One of the key differences between conventional cigarettes and vaping is that vaping devices do not contain tobacco. Although tobacco may not be included, there are hundreds of other harmful chemicals that could be present. For example, nicotine, the chemical that makes cigarettes addictive, is found in the e-liquid. Other recent studies have found acetaldehyde and acetone in the vapor of several different e-cigarette models. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a study and discovered diethylene glycol, a chemical used in industrial antifreeze that is toxic to humans. Imagine inhaling that into your body. The scariest part of all, may be that as of now, there are no current regulations on what chemicals are allowed in vaping devices. So there is no telling what chemicals are entering into your child’s body while vaping
Truth #2 Vaping devices are targeting your children
Although the legal age in California to purchase a vaping device is 18 years old, vaping distributors are finding new ways to entice your teens into purchasing them. The e-liquid or “e-juice” comes in flavors such as: peanut butter cup, licorice, cinnamon roll, and pancake syrup which can be appealing and safe sounding to youth. Also, vaping devices are being sold in every color of the rainbow sometimes with cartoon characters labeled on the outside or sleek attractive designs. Vaping distributors are able to do this because, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that conventional cigarettes are. That means vaping companies are able to market specifically to your teen. Celebrities are promoting vaping as well. So the next time you’re driving down the street, you might find one of your favorite celebrities in one of these billboard ads. Evidence shows that teens are easily influenced by these kinds of ads.
Truth #3 Vaping is not necessarily safer
I know you may hear that vaping is safer than cigarettes, but the long term effects of vaping have not yet been determined. Many health professionals agree that vaping can be harmful to the human body. Inhaling toxic chemicals into the body at various heat temperatures can be dangerous. Possible side effects include: inflammation of lungs, narrowing of airways, allergic reactions, and shortness of breath. So while some vaping companies are claiming that their products can help you quit smoking, it may be wise to take a closer look. There is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that vaping devices should be used as alternatives to help people quit or reduce smoking. If your teen currently smokes, free services are available to help your teen to quit. Call 1-866-NEW-LUNG to help your teen to quit.