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 For Teens 

E-cigarettes and Vaping: Information and Resources for Youth

E-cigarette use poses a significant – and avoidable – health risk to young people in the United States. Besides increasing the possibility of addiction and long-term harm to brain development and respiratory health, e-cigarette use is associated with the use of other tobacco products that can do even more damage to the body. Even breathing e-cigarette aerosol that someone else has exhaled poses potential health risks.

Vaping vs. Reality

Vaping may seem like it’s harmless, but the truth is that vape e-liquid can contain nicotine, lead and other harmful chemicals. Escape the vape.

 

Risks When Using E-cigarettes

Brain Risks 

The part of the brain that's responsible for decision making and impulse control is not yet fully developed during adolescence. Young people are more likely to take risks with their health and safety, including use of nicotine and other drugs. Youth and young adults are also uniquely at risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposing their developing brains to nicotine. These risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.

 Addiction  

How does the nicotine in e-cigarettes affect the brain? Until about age 25, the brain is still growing. Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people's brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Because addiction is a form of learning, adolescents can get addicted more easily than adults. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine.

  Behavior Risks 

E-cigarette use among youth and young adults is strongly linked to the use of other tobacco products, such as regular cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco.  Some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use is linked to alcohol use and other substance use, such as marijuana. And certain e-cigarette products can be used to deliver other drugs like marijuana.

  Use of Two or More Tobacco Products 

Some people have suggested that use of e-cigarettes by young people might "protect" them from using cigarettes. There is no evidence to support this claim. Some studies show that non-smoking youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than non-smoking youth who do not use e-cigarettes. And among high school students and young adults who use two or more tobacco products, a majority use both e-cigarettes and burned tobacco products. Burned tobacco products like cigarettes are responsible for the overwhelming majority of tobacco-related deaths and disease in the United States.

 Aerosol and Other Risks 

The aerosol from e-cigarettes is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead. Scientists are still working to understand more fully the health effects and harmful doses of e-cigarette contents when they are heated and turned into an aerosol, both for active users who inhale from a device and for those who are exposed to the aerosol secondhand. Another risk to consider involves defective e-cigarette batteries that have been known to cause fires and explosions, some of which have resulted in serious injuries. Most of the explosions happened when the e-cigarette batteries were being charged.

 

 

My Life My Quit is a free youth tobacco cessation program made especially for teens. 

Get the truth about vaping, smoking and other tobacco products so you're not left in the dark when it comes to your future. If you decide you want to quit, we give you the tools you need to do it successfully. 

100% free, confidential and made for teens.

  • Text your quit coach or call for support.
  • Get text messages that give you a boost while you quit.
  • Learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways.
  • Find out why your body craves nicotine.
  • Get tips and the support you need to quit for good.

Start Your Quit Today: Text "Start My Quit" to 855.891.9989 or call.

 

If Your Addicted Get Help: Quitting Tools for Youth

 

For more information, please call (515) 281-6225 or go to our Contact Us page to submit a comment or question.