Keep children e-cigarette free
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes. According to the CDC, e-cigarettes containing nicotine are the most commonly used tobacco product in the United States among middle and high school students.
E-cigarettes are electronic devices that produce an aerosol by heating a liquid. There are larger e-cigarettes such as tank systems, or “mods,” do not resemble other tobacco products.
But e-cigarettes also are known by many other different names, including “e-cigs,’’ “e-hookahs,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems.” Also, e-cigarette users sometimes call it “JUULing.”
But why are e-cigarettes unsafe for kids, teens and young adults? The CDC cites the following facts:
• Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.
• Nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain. The brain keeps developing until about age 25.
• Using can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
• Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, strong connections — or synapses — are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.
• Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
• Some of the ingredients in e-cigarettes could also be harmful to the lungs in the long-term. For examples, some e-cigarette flavorings may be safe to eat, but not to inhale because the gut can process more substances than the lungs.
• Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarettes liquid through their skin or eyes.
The CDC recommends you protect your kids from the dangers of e-cigarettes by learning more about them, and talking about the dangers of these products with your youngsters.
You can find more helpful tips by checking out CDC’s free tip sheet for parents here.
If you have kids, teens or young adults that might be vulnerable to the lure of e-cigarettes, help keep them safe and healthy by checking out CDC’s wise advise.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Crystal Stevenson, John Guidroz, retired editor Jim Beam and retired staff writer Mike Jones.