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Parents should educate children on dangers of vaping


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No one in my immediate family is a smoker. Of my extended family members who 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?

Vaping and e-cigarettes are not ever safe for young people to use, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. Their findings show that the products 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 are poisonous if swallowed. Some of the devices have exploded, causing burns or fires. Studies have shown that children who experiment with vaping are more likely to progress to cigarettes. The liquid in the devices is flavored, which is appealing to youth but because of the lack of FDA regulation, potency and level of nicotine/chemical content varies with each brand.


Some of the names of the devices are personal vaporizers, vape pens, pod systems and e-cigars, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. They can resemble cigarettes, pipes or common gadgets such as 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 are they 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 flavors such as peach, java jolt, peppermint and chocolate, and showing young people using their products.  Many minors purchase vapes online, 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 who vape should keep the devices and poisonous liquid away from children. 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 are 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. Author 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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