E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. The liquid usually has nicotine and flavoring in it, and other additives. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is addictive. E-cigarettes are considered tobacco products because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco.
Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients, including:
Adolescent years are times of important brain development. Brain development begins during the growth of the fetus in the womb and continues through childhood and to about age 25. Nicotine exposure during adolescence and young adulthood can cause addiction and harm the developing brain.
Vaping/E-cigarettes are very popular with young people. Their use has grown dramatically in the last five years. Today, more high school students use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes is higher among high school students than adults.
No matter how it's delivered, nicotine is harmful for youth and young adults. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine as well as other chemicals that are known to damage health. For example, users risk exposing their respiratory systems to potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes. Read about these and other risks young people face if they use e-cigarettes.
It is important to prevent harm to youth and young adults from e-cigarettes. We know enough to take action now to protect the health of our nation's young people. Everyone has a role, including parents, health care providers, teachers, and others who work with and care about young people.
Talk with your Kids
The following are specific actions that parents and other adults can take to reduce young people's exposure to e-cigarettes:
Restrict E-cigarette Use around Young People. Don't let anyone use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products around young people. Not only are youth watching the behaviors of others as an example, but they're also at risk of exposure to nicotine and other chemicals that can be harmful to their health.
Visit Tobacco-Free Locations. Avoid restaurants and other locations that allow use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Ensure School is Tobacco-Free. Check with your school administration to ensure your child's school, college, or university is completely tobacco-free, including being free of e-cigarettes.
Make Your Home Tobacco-Free. Make your home and vehicles tobacco-free by not allowing use of any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by family members, friends, and guests. This is an important step to fully protect your children from exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke and secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes.
Be an Example. Be an example to youth by living tobacco-free. Even if you're quitting tobacco, share the reasons why you want to be tobacco-free and ask for support in your journey.
Resources and more information:
See also: Smoking/Cessation