Dangers of teenage vaping
In the past few years, vaping has become increasingly popular, especially among teens and young adults. According to the University of Michigan’s 2017 Monitoring the Future study, one in three high school seniors has tried vaping. Pediatric Partners of Augusta has heard parents ask about the dangers of teenage vaping.
As health experts for children and teenagers, we want parents and teens to know that vaping is not a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking or tobacco use. Teenage vaping statistics show us that a lot of teens are trying it, and many are having health problems or are dying.
In vaping, battery-powered devices – often known as e-cigarettes – heat a liquid into a vapor that is inhaled. The vapor often contains nicotine (the addictive drug in tobacco), flavoring and other chemicals. E-cigarettes also can contain marijuana and other substances.
Vaping became popular because it has been marketed as a healthy alternative to cigarette smoking and comes in many seemingly harmless flavors, including Mountain Dew, fruits, mints and candy. Even though there’s a lot we still don’t know about the health risks of vaping, we do know the ingredients pose a threat to teens and that teens have died from vaping.
Exposure to nicotine during youth can lead to addiction and cause long-term harm to brain development. The vapors can also contain toxins (including ones that cause cancer) and tiny particles that are harmful when breathed in.
More than 44,000 students took part in Michigan University’s 2018 annual survey of drug, alcohol and cigarette use among eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. About 37 percent of 12th-graders reported vaping in 2018, compared with 28 percent in 2017. Vaping of each substance that was asked about increased, including nicotine, flavored liquids, marijuana and hash oil.
“Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine,” said Dr. Richard Miech, who led the study. “These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it.”
“Should I let my teenager vape?” We definitely recommend not letting teenagers vape. Some have made the argument that vaping is safer than cigarettes. Look at it this way: Driving 110 mph on I-20 with a seat belt on is safer than without one, but neither is safe. Teenage vaping statistics clearly show us that vaping can be dangerous, even deadly.
We now have three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is located at 411 Town Park Blvd., the downtown Augusta office is located at 1303 D’Antignac Street, Suite 2600, and the new Grovetown office is located at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, please feel free to call the office at 706-854-2500, visit pedpartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook page.