• December 9, 2019

CENTERS' PIECE: Is vaping a concern? - Odessa American: Centers’ Piece

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CENTERS' PIECE: Is vaping a concern?

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Posted: Monday, October 7, 2019 1:00 am

No one in my immediate family is a smoker. Of my extended family members that do smoke, one developed throat cancer and another died from lung disease. My father quit “cold-turkey” when he was informed that he was going to become a father. I know the smoking habit can be hard to quit and I know some smokers who have turned to a relatively new device called “vaping or e-cigarettes”. If a device is on the market that “helps” one quit the nicotine habit, should this be a concern to parents?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), vaping and e-cigarettes are NOT EVER safe for young people to use. Their findings show that the products do contain nicotine and other chemicals that can become addictive, harming brain development and the secondhand smoke/vapor is harmful to growing lungs. The chemicals in the devices is poisonous if swallowed. Some of the devices have exploded, causing burns or fires. Children experimenting with vaping are more likely to progress to cigarettes. The liquid in the devices is flavored which is appealing to youth but due to the lack of FDA regulation, potency and level of nicotine/chemical content varies with each brand.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), some of the names of the devices are personal vaporizers, vape pens, pod systems and e-cigars. They can resemble cigarettes, pipes or common gadgets like flashlights, flash drives and pens which are easy for kids to hide. One article I came across said that teens are using an e-cigarette called Juul, which produces less smoke/vapor, making them easier to use at home and school. Another appeal with the devices is that they can be used to vape marijuana.  

It has been reported that 4 million adolescents vaped last year. For something that is supposed to be illegal for children to have access to, how are they obtaining these products? And why is it so appealing? Kids Health stated that many of the e-cigarettes are made by the same companies that make cigarettes. Their marketing targets young people by making the experience sound fun by offering many flavors like peach, java jolt, peppermint and chocolate, and showing young people using their products. Many minors purchase vapes on-line, while some of the retailers do not verify a customer’s age, according to the AMA. Kids will experiment with their parents’ devices. Some younger students even obtain the products from older students at their schools.

Should a parent be concerned? Absolutely!! What should a parent do?  Read more information concerning vaping and e-cigarettes. Educate your children about the dangers associated with these products. Parents that use devices, keep them away from children, especially the poisonous liquid. Like anything though, if a kid wants something bad enough, there is probably a method to obtaining it. Kids want to be cool, be accepted and want to fit in with their peers. But YAY for the kids who don’t think that vaping and using tobacco products is cool. Being a kid can be hard these days and so can being a parent. Continue to have a watchful eye on your kids and keep the lines of communication open. James Baldwin said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

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