Teens and Vaping
Hello MIP patients and families!
Is your teen or tween vaping? Have they tried vaping? Have you? You might be surprised with the answers – the TRUE answers – to these questions. When I pose this question to parents and patients, reactions range from indignant to the honest truth of “who hasn’t?”
It’s ironic to me that these devices were intended to facilitate smoking cessation, but are now used by a generation who never smoked conventional cigarettes. The ease with which a young person can obtain these devices is also remarkable – one could have a device delivered in under a day through any of a number of online retailers. As a result, kids as young as middle school age in our community are accessing these devices and the corresponding “juice.” The juice can range from merely flavored chemicals (which are not harmless to the lungs) to nicotine, marijuana and I’m sure any number of other drugs. So make no mistake – the addictive potential, as well as the potential to cause lung damage of these devices and their corresponding juices, really isn’t much different from conventional cigarettes.
I don’t have all the answers to how we can slow or stop this new epidemic. However starting the conversation as a family is a must for younger and younger kids. Start with just posing the question if they know anyone who vapes and listen to what they see and hear. I’ve had to educate myself about these devices as well. For more information, check out: