The U.S. Surgeon General and the FDA released statements indicating youth vaping is now an epidemic. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report indicating the increased use of vaping/e-cigarettes has virtually erased any progress we’ve made in prior years in preventing youth tobacco use. E-cigarette (or vaping) use increased from 11.7% to 20.8% among high school students and from 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018.
Youth in North Iowa are not immune to this epidemic. A local survey recently revealed vaping use is widespread throughout the student body and most have inaccurate or unreliable information about vaping.
So what is vaping you might ask? Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling aerosol or vapor produced by a vape device. Many teens and young adults also refer to this as “JUULING” due to the rise in a popular vape device called JUUL.
Is vaping safe? No. Vaping isn’t considered safe for teens and young adults, especially since their brains are still developing. Long-term studies on vaping have not been conducted due to it being new to the market, however, what we do know is:
• Nearly all tobacco product use begins during youth and young adulthood.
• Youth who vape are 4 times more likely to begin smoking cigarettes.
• Tobacco product use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
• There is no FDA oversight of manufacturing vaping/e-cigarette products, which means there is no oversight regarding the potential harmful ingredients put in them.
• JUUL products (75% of the vape marketing shares) ALWAYS contain nicotine.
• One JUUL pod has the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.
• Nicotine can harm teen brain development which can have negative implications to learning, memory, attention, and behavior problems.
• Nicotine primes the adolescent brain for addiction.
There is a Quit Vaping Hotline to help youth that want to quit vaping and parents that want to help them. It’s a first of its kind, text messaging youth e-cigarette quit program. People can text QUIT to (202) 804-9884. It’s all anonymous and free of charge. Messages are tailored by age groups to give appropriate recommendations for teens, young adults, and parents.
For more information on vaping contact the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health at 641-421-9300.
Cessation (Quitting) Information