There is still an abundance of information that we don’t know about vaping and e-cigarette use. There are also some myths that have been circulated to downplay the dangers that we do know are associated with vaping and e-cigarette use.
So… what are the FACTS? 🤔
FACT: E-cigarettes have the POTENTIAL to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.
HOWEVER, E-cigarettes are NOT SAFE for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
FACT: MOST e-cigarettes contain NICOTINE, which is highly addictive and can disrupt/harm the development of an adolescent brain.
It is difficult for consumers to know what every e-cigarette product contains. For example, some e-cigarettes claim to contain 0% nicotine, yet traces of nicotine have been found within that same product. If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start, especially if you are under the age of 21!
FACT: E-cigarette aerosol generally contains fewer toxic chemicals than those found in regular cigarettes.
HOWEVER, e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can still contain harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals (i.e., lead, etc.), volatile organic compounds, and carcinogenic chemicals.
FACT: E-cigarettes are NOT CURRENTLY APPROVED by the U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a quit smoking aid.
Scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking, and the studies that have been recently conducted have provided mixed results.
FACT: E-cigarettes can cause unintended injuries such as fires, explosions, and lung diseases.
The bottom line is e-cigarettes and vaping may be “less harmful” than regular cigarettes, but that DOES NOT mean they are harmless. This is especially true for youth, who is currently the larger demographic of users of vapes and e-cigarettes, but who are also the most negatively affected regarding the physical harm experienced. Although marketing with discreet packaging and exotic flavors seem to target and appeal more toward the youth, vaping is not safe or healthy for adolescents. Vaping can cause youth to become addicted to nicotine without them even knowing and harm their brain and lung development.
If your child or a child you know is unable to stop vaping, please contact the child’s health care provider, school counselor, or other trusted professional to discuss ways to help them quit. You can also check out some of these resources below:
Georgia Tobacco Quitline (GTQL): 1-877-270-STOP (877-270-7867)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
The National Cancer Institute Quitline: 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848)