Even though e-cigarettes have been in the market for a long time, the rate of vape usage has increased recently especially with teenagers. Because of this, e-cigarettes are the most popular option for tobacco. Over 2 million middle and high school students were reported in 2017 to be e-cigarette users.
JUUL is a famous rechargeable vaping device that has different flavors and looks like a USB stick. It is alarming because it has high nicotine content which makes it highly addictive. The manufacturer of JUUL has over $10 billion value which is faster than other successful companies such as Facebook. Therefore, more than 50% of the e-cigarette industry is taken over by JUUL.
Because of the growing popularity of smoking vape among teenagers, parents, teachers, and healthcare professionals are worried. They try their best to educate these young people and themselves about using vapes.
Reasons Why Parents Should Be Alarmed
Most teens have the misconception that vapes are not bad for their health since the health concerns for vapes are not as serious as smoking cigarettes. According to Dr. Sarper Taskiran, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute, he mentioned that teens think that the flavors and gas are pure fun only.
There was a study conducted among Grade 12 students who used vape but never smoked cigarettes. It was found that they are more likely not to perceive cigarettes as harmful. In other studies, it also showed that teenagers who start to vape have a tendency to smoke cigarettes as well.
Dr. Taskiran is also disappointed with the packaging of vapes. He said that health risks are not conveyed properly. The packaging indicates 5% nicotine only, so teenagers think this is not damaging, and the 95% content is just vapor or water weight.
He also added that smoking is portrayed in movies as something cool. Because of the positive portrayal, many vape manufacturers such as JUUL rebranded their products to make smoking vape a cooler option. The interesting flavors of vape such as mango, cream, and, cucumber make it more enticing for teenagers to try.
There are schools that let students who caught vaping sign a behavior contract and attend a special class. Also, for that school year, these students cannot join clubs, sports, or any special school event. The sanctions will be different if these kids were not caught using vapes within the school premises. In some schools, if high school students were involved, the police will be called.
Sadly, some teens can just visit a website, pretend they are at least 21 years old, and purchase vape online even though local restrictions are tightened. Dr. Taskirad added that most adults purchase JUUL online.
Discussing Vape to Teens
Dr. Taskiran recommends that parents familiarize themselves first about vapes before talking to their children so that they know the answers to the questions that may possibly arise. Parents have to keep in mind that the conversation should be interactive. Statements such as, “Smoking is bad for your health” might make the matter worse.