During these uncertain times, it might be easy to indulge in habits that can help reduce stress. While certain practices can improve our health, exercise our brain, or help us learn a new skill, vaping is not one of these. A relatively new product, e-cigarettes continue to be popular among our youth despite the number of health warnings and the recent outbreak of lung injury associated with its use.
Compared to regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes are electronic devices that use a battery to heat a liquid made up of nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals and turn them into an aerosol. This liquid comes in a wide variety of "fun" flavors like cotton candy and watermelon. The devices also come in many shapes and sizes and can be easily concealed in a jacket or backpack.
The CDC states that e-cigarette use or vaping is not safe for kids, teens, and young adults due to nicotine’s presence, which can harm brain development. Due to the lack of regulation, it is unknown what types of chemicals beyond nicotine are found in e-cigarettes and how these vary from different brands. Nicotine concentrations also vary; brands like JUUL have nicotine concentrations 5 to 8 times higher than traditional cigarettes. Additionally, E-cigarettes can be used to vape other substances such as THC, which has been found in e-cigarettes at concentrations between 40 and 80%.
In Arizona, 51% of high school students have tried a vaping device at least once. Developing a vaping habit at such a young age will make it easier to start smoking cigarettes or transitioning to other substances in the future. While they are young, we can help prevent youth from starting habits that could hurt their health and development. It is also particularly crucial that during a pandemic that targets the respiratory system, that we take extra precautions and avoid something that can weaken our immune system and cause inflammation in the airways and lungs.
If you or someone you know is ready to quit vaping and develop healthier habits text "DITCHJUUL" to 88709 or text "QUIT" to 202-899-7550.
To learn more visit MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/Vaping