More and more teenagers are using e-cigarettes, and many of their parents assume they are less dangerous than traditional cigarettes so they don’t need to worry. But they are sorely wrong, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health warned. To help parents better understand what vaping is and the harm it poses, state health officials have launched a statewide campaign, “The New Look of Nicotine Addiction,” to arm parents with information they can use to talk to their kids about e-cigarettes.
Contrary to what most people believe, these products – also known as e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems, JUULs and electronic nicotine delivery systems – contain more than just flavored water. They can be filled with e-liquids, or e-liquids can be added to the devices. These e-liquids often consist of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings that typically appeal to teens.
In a letter to The Salem News, Northeast Tobacco Free Community Partnership Director Diane Knight said e-liquids can also contain toxic ingredients.
For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the aerosol – or vapor – produced by e-cigarettes can contain harmful substances like nicotine, a highly addictive stimulant; flavorings like diacetyl, which can cause the serious lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as popcorn lung; volatile organ compounds (VOCs) like benzene, which has been linked to blood cancers like leukemia; and heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead.
Knight offered these tips for talking to kids about vaping: “First, be patient and ready to listen. Know that there is no perfect talk and consider your talks to be learning opportunities for both you and your young person. You may have some facts, but concede that you don’t have all the answers. This will go a long way to keep your kids from going on the defensive. If you show genuine curiosity about what your child knows and experiences you may learn a lot and be better able to gauge the vaping issues in your community and what you can do about them.”
For more information about e-cigarettes as well as photos of vaping products, go to GetOutraged.org.
Source: The Salem News