The Wolf Administration is urging teens and their parents, educators and health care providers to be aware of the dangers of vaping or using e-cigarettes as the number of teens using this method of smoking is increasing across the nation.
“Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug that can harm brain development, which continues until about age 25,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to go on to use regular cigarettes. If you have a problem with vaping, there are resources available to help you.”
Recently, the federal government issued warnings about the dangers of e-cigarettes. The FDA, last month, declared the use of e-cigarettes among teens an ‘epidemic’ and is taking steps to stop youth access to tobacco products. At the same time, the U.S. Surgeon General determined that e-cigarette use among youth and young adults is a public health concern.
An increasingly popular e-cigarette device, called JUUL, is shaped like a USB flash drive. JUUL, one of the leading brands sold, is among the most popular with teens, but also the most dangerous. JUULs have one of the highest nicotine levels among all e-cigarettes.
“One JUUL cartridge contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes,” Dr. Levine said. “Once a teen begins using e-cigarettes, it is often very difficult for them to stop, and it is a decision that can affect the rest of their life. A conversation must take place about just how dangerous vaping is.”
E-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. “Vaping” aerosol can contain other harmful ingredients, in addition to nicotine. We are urging parents to learn about the different shapes and types of e-cigarettes and the risks of all forms of e-cigarette use for young people. Talk to your children about the risks of e-cigarettes and urge them to remain tobacco-free.
For help quitting vaping, there are resources available. The department has a free hotline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-855-DEJELO-YA in Spanish).
Learn more about the risks of e-cigarettes for youth and access tips for talking to youth at: https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/resources.html