Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe For Our Teens?

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I remember when I was a teenager and wanted to shake the image of being the girl. The easiest thing for me to do was start smoking cigarettes. My mother smoked, so it was not something that was considered too bad It is something I regretted for years. I can’t say why I felt the need to not be the good girl any more. I guess it was my way of rebelling in what I thought was a safe way. Safe of course was the ignorant teenager in me.

Now, I know better, and being a mother of teenagers, I am very aware of the temptations out there. These days, smoking cigarettes are just one of the dangers. Electronic cigarettes are viewed as a cheaper and safe alternative to traditional cigarettes, and this trend is trickling down to our youth. A 2017 study found that found that 3 out of every 100 middle school students and 12 out of every 100 high school students reported using electronic cigarettes. This study found that electronic cigarette use has been found to be higher among boys. In 2015, statistics showed that 6% more boys used e-cigarettes than girls. Children who use e-cigarettes have a 30% higher chance of smoking traditional cigarettes within the next six months of initial use.

Teenagers face so many pressures. Let’s face it. When you are in high school all those pressures feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Looking back, all our problems back then were small. They don’t feel small when you are living through it though. As parents, we need to keep communication open.

What Is Really In Electronic Cigarettes?

So the question is, what are electronic cigarettes really putting into our bodies? Are they actually safer? Remember that decades ago, the effects of smoking traditional cigarettes was not widely known. Could it be that future generations will pay the price for our youth not knowing now the effects of what the put into their bodies?

The Side Effects of “Vaping” or “JUULing”?

There are many short-term and long-term side effects of vaping/JUULing. Short-term effects
include, but are not limited to:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Itchiness
  • Dry Eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Nosebleeds
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Increased blood pressure

The long-term side effects are just as scary. Things like effects on brain development, lung disease, insulin resistance and deterioration of lung tissue. There are currently law suits filed against JUUL  claiming that the products have caused health problems such as nicotine addiction, as well as injuries from device malfunctions. Yet, we are to believe that this is a safer alternative.

These are scary thoughts. It is so important that we talk to our children! Start the conversation with them. As parents, we need to get involved. Let them know how you feel, and also keep them informed. Learn more about the health effects at ConsumerSafety.org and please, share this information not only with your kids but with others. The next generation is truly in our hands.


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