What are vape pens?
They are electronic devices that vaporize the product placed inside them.
 
How prevalent is vaping?

  • According to the Surgeon General, vaping increased 900% from 2011 to 2015.
  • In 2016, 18% of 8th graders, 29% of 10th graders and 34% of 12th graders had used e-cigarettes at least once in their lifetime.

 
Why should parents be concerned?

  • Vape pens often contain nicotine, a powerful stimulant that is addictive and can impair the developing brain.
  • Even if they don’t have nicotine in them, they can have other chemicals, or produce other chemicals, that are known to be cancer causing – such as formaldehyde.

 
How does vaping compare to traditional cigarettes?

  • While electronic devices might be a good alternative for an adult addicted to cigarettes, these devices are not safe for youth.
  • Research shows that many youth who start using the flavored e-cigarettes will start using traditional cigarettes.

 
What do vape pens look like?

  • There are many different versions: hookah sticks, cig-alikes, Juuls, pen mods and box mods.
  • In addition, there are many other devices that are disguised to look like other items but are actually vape pens.
    • Highlighters, coffee cups, lipsticks, inhalers, and USB drives can be vape pens in disguise.

 
Anything else I should know?

  • One very popular type of vape pen is called a Juul.  In some communities, Juuls are so popular that “Juul” has become a verb; young people refer to vaping as “Juuling”
  • Many young people are using e-cigs to vape very potent marijuana concentrates referred to by names such as wax, dab, shatter, oil.  These marijuana concentrates may be odorless and therefore a parent does not know what their child is using in their device.
  • There have even been reports of people vaping opiates such as fentanyl.

 
What action steps can parents take?

  • Educate yourself and your child about the risks of e-cigs.
  • Be vigilant in noticing any devices in your child’s possessions.
  • If you are concerned, there are people who can assist you.
  • Call the Student Assistance Counselor at your school for more information or to get assistance.

 
Prepared by Student Assistance Services Corporation
660 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591   (914) 332-1300
www.sascorp.org

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