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