Cigarette Smoking, while at one-time a glamorous past-time, has thankfully decreased in its appeal and use in both adults and teens. However, a new form of nicotine inhalation is quickly taking its place: vaping.
What is Vaping?
"Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles." (Source: Center on Addiction)
What about Juuling?
Most vaping devices look like large fountain pens or closely mimic the look of a traditional cigarette. A Juul is a newer type of vaping device that looks more like a tall flash-drive and even comes with a real USB flash-drive to charge the Juul.
The creators of Juul developed the product for smokers who already smoke and are trying to reduce or eliminate the use of cigarettes; however, teens are getting into Juuling instead of smoking - even if they've never smoked a traditional cigarette - because they think it's "safer" or easier to hide.
Vaping, especially "Juuling" is more attractive to teens for a few reasons: It's something new and "cooler looking". Compared to its combustible rolled-up paper ancestor, e-cigs don't need a lighter and many e-cigs' liquids come in fun flavors and smells the kids like. However, contrary to what many teens think, vaping is no less harmful and the nicotine in a Juul pod is still as addictive as the nictone in traditional cigarette smoking. "JUULpods are offered in both 3% and 5% strengths. Each 5% JUULpod is designed to contain approximately 0.7mL with 5% nicotine by weight" (Source: Juul.com)
'Safer is not the same as safe,' says Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.
How to Help your Kids Avoid or Stop Vaping and Juuling
In an article in Your Teen Mag, Sandra Gordon shares Koorosh Rassekh's - an addiction therapist and founder of Evo Health and Wellness, an outpatient addiction treatment program in Venice, California - advice for how to talk to your teens about vaping and Juuling.
If you are concerned about your teen's health and drug use - including vaping - seek help and support within your community for yourself, as the parent(s) or guardian(s), and for your teen. Find a list of resources for teen drug and addiction recovery here.
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