E-Cigarettes: How safe is vaping?
E-cigarette use, or vaping, has grown dramatically in the last five years, particularly among high school students. In Oklahoma, 19% of high school students use e-cigarettes — that’s more than adults. It’s so popular that high school students are vaping more than smoking regular cigarettes.
What are e-cigarettes? Also known as vape pens, tank systems and mods, e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine-infused liquid solution into a vapor for inhalation. E-cigarette and vape shops are popping up everywhere, even in close proximity to schools. Their sales pitch? That e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.
The real question is, are e-cigarettes safe? There’s still plenty to be learned about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. However, one thing is certain: they contain nicotine, a highly addictive, tobacco-derived product. According to a recent Surgeon General’s report, the nicotine found in e-cigarettes can cause addiction and harm the developing brains of people aged 25 and younger.
A new rule extends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory authority to ALL tobacco products, including all variations of electronic cigarettes. While this new rule will take time to go into effect, it will ultimately help consumers better understand the risks, prohibit false or misleading advertising, and ensure these products meet public health standards.
As a parent, you have the most influence over your child’s behavior. Therefore it is essential to talk your kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes, nicotine addiction and other tobacco products. Click here for tips on how to get the conversation started.
If you or someone you know is thinking about quitting or needs help to stop, FREE help is available through the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at OKhelpline.com or 1-800-QUIT NOW.