Kids and Vaping: What You Need to Know


Kids and Vaping: What You Need to Know

An increasing number of children and teens have tried vaping and more statistics are released daily that are connecting health issues with vaping. Here are some quick facts about the effects of vaping on children and how to prevent vaping in children.

Is Vaping Bad for Children? What We Know

Vaping is still a relatively new phenomenon so research is still in its beginning stages. However, the effects of vaping are starting to surface. 

What we do know is that nicotine is a very addictive toxic substance that can affect nearly every part of the human body, including but not limited to the lungs, heart, brain, gastrointestinal system, and joints.

Furthermore, lung injury cases and even vaping-related deaths are on the rise. We have seen over 1500 lung injury cases and 33 deaths confirmed in 24 states, including Michigan. The numbers increase daily and 16 percent of these cases were patients under 18 years old. 

Facts about Kids and Vaping

  • 3 million children used e-cigarettes in 2015 (Source: 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey).
  • Children who vape are three times more likely than their peers to smoke cigarettes as adults  (Journal of America Medicine, 2019).
  • Vaping among youth is unsafe, regardless of whether or not it leads to future cigarette smoking (Source: CDC).
  • The JUUL e-cigarette, which resembles a USB flash drive, accounts for 72 percent of the US market (Nielsen data). 
  • Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 are 16 times more likely to use a JUUL compared to adults ages 25-34.
  • One JUUL “pod” or cartridge contains as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes (Source: Truth Initiative).
  • JUUL uses nicotine salts that deliver a higher concentration of nicotine to the bloodstream in a shorter amount of time.
  • 63 percent of teens are unaware that a JUUL contains nicotine (Truth Initiative, 2018).
  • Nicotine can hurt adolescent brain development, which continues to develop until age 25 (Source: US Department of Health and Human Services).
  • Vaping tools can be used to inhale other drugs, including marijuana. In 2016, according to the CDC, “approximately one-third of U.S. middle and high school students who have ever used an e-cigarette reported using marijuana in the device.”

The Best Ways to Prevent Children from Vaping

How and When Talk to Kids about Vaping

Early education is key. Consider starting the conversation before children reach their adolescent years. Here are some important talking points to cover with kids:

  • Vaping oil can contain just as much nicotine as cigarettes 
  • Nicotine is highly addictive
  • Vaping is just a term used to describe the process of spraying aerosol - and toxic chemicals - into your lungs
  • People, including young people, are getting lung diseases and even dying from vaping-related illness

We also encourage parents and caregivers to familiarize themselves with the many types of vape pens and devices in an effort to recognize them more easily.