Smoke Signals: Signs Your Child May Be Vaping
The use of e-cigarettes — commonly called vaping — is just plain dangerous for kids, teens and young adults.
E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol that is inhaled. They come in different shapes, sizes and flavors that may appeal to kids. And they contain harmful substances, like addictive nicotine, chemicals or heavy metals.
The number of teens and kids who are vaping is alarming. The federal government’s annual National Youth Tobacco Survey has found about 20 percent of high school students are vaping daily. That’s 3 million teens! Another 1 in 9 middle school students are vaping as well.
The Dangers of Vaping
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The effects of vaping on young people can be serious. Vaping can cause:
- Lung inflammation
- Permanent lung damage
- Hampered brain development
- Permanent brain damage
- Kidney damage
And the risk of addiction is high. Vape pods are potent — just one is equivalent to 20 traditional cigarettes. So it’s not surprising that kids who vape are four times more likely to smoke.
Know the Signs of Vaping
As kids head back to school, do your homework, too, so you can recognize the signs of vaping. They include both physical and behavior changes:
Shortness of breath
Changes in mood
Asking for money
Also familiarize yourself with the types of e-cigarettes so you can recognize the tools. They come in tank/mod, rechargeable and disposable formats. They may look like regular cigarettes or even everyday items, like pens.
Tips to Prevent Vaping
So how do we prevent or stop children from vaping? It starts with you, the parent!
- Be a good role model — don’t smoke or vape yourself
- Make your home a vaping and smoke-free environment
- Maintain good communication and talk with your kids about the dangers of vaping
And know that you’re not alone. The experts at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital are here to help.
And for more help, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is a good source of reliable information.