For years prevention professionals have had success in reducing tobacco use in kids and teens by helping them to understand the dangers of smoking and/or chewing. Now, a newer product has been highly advertised- the e-cigarette, and tobacco companies will tell you vaping is a “safe” alternative to smoking. “The delivery system is different.” “There is no “second-hand vape” to affect friends and family.”
The CDC tells a different story:
- The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
- Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s. 1
- E-cigarettes, which often come in candy flavors, can contain other harmful substances which can cause lung damage.
- Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.
- Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e- cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes.
- Nationally, approximately 50% of calls to poison control centers for e-cigarettes are for kids 5 years of age or younger.
The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance through its PA START campaign has developed a helpful tool kit for parents, caregivers, teachers, and other concerned adults that will help to prevent vaping in adolescents and teens. It answers pertinent questions, offers conversation starters, and explains the consequences of e-cigarette use. Trends are difficult to address especially when they come with misinformation. The PA START Communication Action Series/VAPING will deliver the truthful message.