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Is Your Teen Vaping? What Are the Signs and Risks of Vaping?

Is your teen vaping? What are the signs and risks of vaping?

The growing popularity of vaping among teens occurs due to the easy accessibility of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette companies have been actively marketing their products as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, which has led to the rise of this new trend among teenagers. Many vape shops and online retailers sell flavored nicotine liquids that appeal to younger consumers who want something unique and fun.

Most teens are not aware nor do they understand the potential harms associated with vaping, such as developing an addiction and other health problems.

What Is Vaping?

Vaping is a method of inhaling nicotine through the mouth using an e-cigarette. The e-cigarette provides the sensation of a traditional cigarette but without the smoke, tar, and carbon monoxide. The user inhales nicotine from a liquid cartridge in the device through a mouthpiece that heats and vaporizes the liquid. It accomplishes this illusion of “smoke” by using heating coils to burn either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerol to create the vapor.

The liquid cartridges come in various colors and provide different flavors, such as fruit juices and cotton candy.

The Rise of Teen Vaping

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a recent study discovered an alarming increase in vaping among US teens grades 8-12. The number of 12th-grade students who reported vaping has increased since 2017, from 28 to 37percent. 12th graders who vape marijuana products also increased from 5 to 13 percent. Notably, more than 10 percent of eighth-graders reported that they vaped nicotine this past year.

According to Dr. Richard Miech, the lead researcher of this NIH study, “Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine.” The rise of vaping has led to increased nicotine use among teens. “These results suggest that vaping is leading youth into nicotine use and nicotine addiction, not away from it.”

These products may attract teens because they seem fun and harmless, but they can cause a lot of physical and mental health damage from long-term use. Teens and their parents must understand the risks associated with vaping.

Reasons Teens Vape

Teens are curious, and they enjoy exploring new things. So, what happens if they try smoking? It’s not only a bad idea, but it can also create physical and mental health issues. There are many reasons why teens vape and some common reasons include:

  • Affordability: Teens consider vaping cheaper than cigarettes. The cost of e-cigarettes has dropped since they came on the market.
  • Discreet: They are discreet; no one knows your doing it unless you tell them.
  • Flavoring: Vendors provide many flavors like strawberry milk and watermelon lemonade.
  • Different Vaping Features: New vaping features come out daily, including temperature control settings and downloadable software apps. Each allows customization options like changing colors, patterns, textures of coils, and creating custom liquids.
  • Alternative to Tobacco: Teens view vaping as healthier than smoking cigarettes because no tobacco products are involved.
  • Socially Acceptable: Many teenagers see vaping as socially acceptable among peers.

The Harmful Impact of Vaping

Teens might think that vaping is harmless, but the truth is that vaping is harmful to their health. Adolescents’ developing brains may permanently change due to vaping, just like other illicit substances can affect adolescents’ developing minds. It can create a nicotine addiction that lasts into adulthood. It could also cause:

  • Lung damage
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

How to Quit Vaping

To help your teen quit vaping, we suggest working with them to create a comprehensive prevention strategy. Such a plan should address their needs and goals. A good plan will also help them maintain motivation to endure challenging times. Furthermore, seeking professional help and treatments will allow them to learn about and manage their triggers, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings. For example, when cravings hit, a good plan consisting of professional and home support will incorporate activities that provide healthy distractions from vaping. Other ways that parents can help include:

  • Removing all vaping devices and liquids from the home.
  • Keep communication open and continue to talk to your teen about the dangers of vaping.
  • Seeking professional help geared toward teenage needs, such as the help we offer at Clearfork Academy.
  • Encouraging teens to build a network of support to aid them on their journey to recovery.
  • Educate yourself and your child that e-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals and metals that are toxic.

Counseling and behavioral therapy also help teenagers change their behaviors associated with vaping. Some teens may benefit from NRTs, bupropion, or varenicline medications.

If you think your teen needs any of these treatments, seek professional help today.

Teens are often unaware or lack the understanding of the potential harms of vaping, including addiction and other health problems. Therefore, the growing popularity of vaping among teens needs attention and action from parents and professionals to help eradicate this trend. If you’re concerned about your teen’s vaping habit, Clearfork Academy can help. Our treatment center provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure that you get the information and assistance you need. The team at Clearfork Academy specializes in treating teenagers struggling to manage their addictions to drugs and alcohol. We also treat teenagers struggling with mental illnesses including but not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. Our professional and holistic therapies are evidence-based, and the variety of therapies we offer will ensure that you find the right fit to meet your teen’s needs. To learn more about our treatment program, call us today at (888) 966-8604.

 

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5 Dangers of Vaping

Is vaping dangerous? Should parents encourage their teens to quit vaping during or after recovery? The standard argument against this is that vaping “isn’t as bad” as cigarettes, marijuana, or worse. And while this is technically true, it’s also not good for your child either. We’re here to discuss five dangers of vaping for you and your teen to be aware of before it’s written off as harmless and cool.

 

1. Unknown Chemicals

We aren’t advocating for tobacco leaves, but at least it is an organic compound that we can see, touch, and feel, right? On the other hand, the chemicals inside vapes and e-cigarettes are unknown to us. Not only are we putting a foreign chemical into our body when we vape, but it’s also hard to definitively say the amount of risk it poses. Each cartridge is different, as is each brand and flavor. 

 

2. Illicit Substance Additives

Besides the nicotine and unknown chemicals, we get in typical vape cartridges, the risk of adding illicit substances to the blend is high. THC can be added to the vape in higher-concentrated doses (which is risky enough alone), but what makes this even worse when vaping is the flavored vapor that masks the smell and taste. This creates a perfect storm for concealed use and overuse of THC.

 

3. Vaping Impacts Brain Development

Nicotine is harmful to brain development in large amounts, especially in adolescents when this development is at its highest. Areas of the brain like neurotransmitters are slowed down and can even be broken with regular smoking or vaping. Since nicotine is addictive, it makes the slide to regular and overuse even more risky. Once you pick up the habit, it’s hard to stop–even when it’s hurting your brain. 

 

4. Long-Term Lung Damage

Vaping comes with adverse health effects to the lungs after continued use. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath can all start to affect your teen after a few weeks or months of vaping, and these symptoms worsen over time. Lungs should be clear of excess substances to allow for proper airflow. Filling them with chemicals and water vapor causes an excess strain as they expel the foreign materials. 

 

5. Marketing and Media Influence

The sleek pod, the multitude of flavors, the “tricks” kids can do with vapor–all of these things create the perfect storm of unhealthy marketing to young adults. The visibility isn’t placed on the dangers of vaping and nicotine like a pack of cigarettes; the market focuses on the aspects that draw in younger and younger wallets. The misconception and misinformation surrounding vaping are some of the most dangerous aspects of it today. When it’s the cool thing to do, kiddos don’t realize the harm. 

 

So, when discussing vaping with your teen, keep these five dangers in mind: unknown chemicals, illicit substance additives, impaired brain development, long-term lung damage, and the marketing and media of vaping. The goal is to provide knowledge so that your family can have an informed conversation. It’s time to discuss the harmful parts of vaping that are so often left out and that your kiddo may not even have considered. 

If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at www.ClearforkAcademy.com

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now