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Presentation coverParents who attended Columbia High School’s Open House on Tuesday evening were given an important presentation regarding electronic cigarettes and their prevalence among teenagers. This topic was discussed because it has become an issue in schools across the United States, including Columbia High School.

Columbia Student Assistance Counselor Alyssa Evans and School Social Worker Lois Rondeau provided information to parents about e-cigarettes, the health risks associated with them and how teenagers are using them.

Parents should be aware that, as with all tobacco products, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use e-cigarettes. School district policy also prohibits tobacco use as well as e-cigarettes “in all school district buildings, on school grounds, and in any vehicle used to transport children or personnel.”

View Presentation “The Tobacco Industry Has a Kids Menu”

What’s in a name?

  • JUULing (JUUL; JUUL Vaporizer)
  • ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems)
  • E-Cigs (E-Cigarettes)
  • Vape (Vape Pens)
  • Mods (Vape Mods)

What are they?

  • Battery-powered devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales.

Statistics

  • Youth are more likely to use e-cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes the most frequently used tobacco product among youth
  • In 2016, more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 4.3% of middle school students and 11.3% of high school students

The Breakdown on Vaping

  • E-cigarettes are “safer” than conventional cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe
  • Less harmful does not mean harmless
  • UNREGULATED: Vape pens are still partially unregulated by the government, so we don’t really know what’s in them and there’s no evidence that their emissions are safe to inhale
  • AEROSOL NOT WATER VAPOR: Vape pens produce an aerosol that can contain nicotine and ultrafine particles and harmful chemical and toxins known to cause cancer (carcinogens)
    • Nicotine
    • Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
    • Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease (popcorn lung)
    • Volatile organic compounds
    • Cancer-causing chemicals
    • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, lead, chromium and manganese
    • Benzene (found in car exhaust)
    • Formaldehyde
    • Propylene glycol

Juul – the iPhone of the Vape World

  • Juul is a sleek e-cigarette that delivers high doses of flavored nicotine
  • Looks like a flash drive
  • Can be charged in a computer just like a USB
  • Easily hidden or not noticed in plain site
  • Provides a nicotine rush, or “buzz,” that’s similar to smoking a cigarette
  • Many youth inaccurately believe they are not getting nicotine
  • Each Juul pod = 1 pack of cigarettes (about 200 puffs)
  • Juul pods come in different flavors
  • Teens are attracted to flavors and believe less harmful
  • Does not produce a strong odor
  • Students across the U.S. are sneaking puffs in the bathroom of schools, and even in the classroom, on the bus, in the room right next to you, etc. (leads to significant disciplinary actions)
  • JUULing is distinctive – people who use them don’t consider themselves to be smoking or vaping
  • Because of its popularity, many copycat products have emerged

Popular Brands (these 5 brands make up 97% of the U.S. market for e-cigarettes)

  • Juul
  • Vuse
  • MarkTen XL
  • Blu
  • Logic 60

The Flavor Trap

  • More than 7,700 unique e-cig flavors
  • Over 240 new flavors each month
  • Flavors play a major role in youth use of tobacco products
  • 81% of kids started with a flavored tobacco product
  • Who do you think they are targeting?

Other Vape Facts

  • Poisonings
  • Fire Hazard/Explosions
  • Smoking Cessation
    • No evidence effective
    • Actually 30% less effective in quitting
    • Youth using alternative tobacco products, like e-cigarettes, are more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes 1 yr later after beginning use of vape

How Are Kids Getting It?

  • Vape products are all over social media
  • Many promote the sale of their products right from their accounts
  • Website age gates are easily bypassed, and kids use a parent’s name for shipping. In fact, kids successfully buy e-cigs online 94% of the time.
  • Many vape companies have names that wouldn’t raise a red flag on account or credit card statements
  • Alternative money sources – PayPal, credit card, gift cards, etc.
  • Orders can also be shipped to the homes where parent(s) are at work when the mail comes
  • Clerks at tobacco shops, vape stores, gas stations and convenience stores might not enforce the law to not sell to anyone under 18 years old
  • Get or buy from peers and/or friends
  • Adults (family, patron of a convenience store, etc.)

How to Tell If Your Kid is Vaping

  • If their room smells artificially sweet, don’t assume it’s a scented candle
  • Nosebleeds are common among Juul users
  • Many vapers report increased thirst
  • There is often a heightened caffeine sensitivity

Brain Science for Regular People

  • To explain why the tobacco industry targets kids, we have to lay down a little science:
    1. Nicotine changes the brain, which is why quitting is so hard
    2. The tobacco industry profits off addiction
    3. The brain’s peak period to develop addiction is in adolescence
    4. If you think it’s a coincidence that kids are the likeliest addicts and that tobacco now tastes like candy, go back to number two
  • Early exposure to nicotine paves A PATHWAY FOR ADDICTION OF ALL KINDS
  • Impacts parts of the brain that affect Mood disorders, lowering impulse control, attention, and learning

Vaping and Substance Use

  • Beware that e-cigs can be used to vaporize opiates, synthetic substances like flakka (an amphetamine-like drug similar to bath salts), and designer forms of “synthetic weed” such as K2 and Spice
  • Vaping may deliver a far more potent form of whatever drug is being used
  • Teens who use e-cigarettes are 4x more likely to use marijuana

Vape and Marijuana

  • Almost 1 in 11 middle school and high school students in the U.S. has vaped cannabis
  • They take the little cartridges that are full of liquid nicotine and they replace it with liquid marijuana/hash oil
  • Some vendors sell hash oil cartridges
  • Kids are also learning to make their own
  • How To – is very simple and easily found online
  • It is very difficult (if not impossible) to tell whether a vaping device contains nicotine e-liquid or cannabis just from looking at the device or the cartridge
  • It may not even have a smell that’s detectable to others
  • There is no odor, so users can smoke it anywhere without anyone knowing what’s inside
  • Studies have found these liquids can be 30 times more concentrated than dry marijuana leaves

Parent Tips

  • Know the facts
    • Get credible information about e-cigarettes and young people
    • Be patient and ready to listen
    • Avoid criticism and encourage an open dialogue
    • Remember, your goal is to have a conversation, not to deliver a lecture
    • It’s OK for your conversation to take place over time, in bits and pieces
  • Answer their questions
  • Set a positive example by being tobacco-free
    • If you use tobacco, it’s never too late to quit. For free help, visit smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW
  • START THE CONVERSATION
  • Find the right moment
    • A more natural discussion will increase the likelihood that your teen will listen. Rather than saying “we need to talk,” you might ask your teen what he or she thinks about a situation you witness together, such as:
      • Seeing someone use an e-cigarette in person or in a video
      • Passing an e-cigarette shop when you are walking or driving
      • Seeing an e-cigarette advertisement in a store or magazine or on the internet
    • Ask for support
      • Not sure where to begin? Ask your health care provider to talk to your teen about the risks of e-cigarettes
      • You might also suggest that your teen talk with other trusted adults, such as relatives, teachers, faith leaders, coaches, or counselors whom you know are aware of the risks of e-cigarettes
      • These supportive adults can help reinforce your message as a parent

Resources