In a recent article from NBC News, the surgeon general has come out adamantly stating that teen vaping has become a health threat and an epidemic. In a recent study, it is reported that there has been an increase of up to 78% of teenagers who now use some form of e-cigarette.
“There is an epidemic of use of e-cigarettes going – a 78 percent increase in high schoolers using these products in just the past year. For the first time in over forty years, we’ve seen a doubling of the rate of use of a substance in just over a year.”
The problem that presents itself the most with this issue is that there are still many teenagers and adults who do not realize or think that vaping is harmful to ones health. E-cigarettes were originally created to help current smokers ween themselves off regular cigarettes. However, with the growing popularity of these devices, not only are they just as harmful, but some carry even more nicotine than regular cigarettes (some of them carry up to 20 times more).
“These products also use nicotine salts, which allow particularly high levels of nicotine to be inhaled more easily and with less irritation than the free-base nicotine that has traditionally been used in tobacco products, including e-cigarettes,” said Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.
So what can be done about this? The first thing the Surgeon General and FDA has done is to take measures making it more difficult for teenagers to get these products online. Currently as it stands, it is quite easy for any teen to buy these vaping products from websites.
The ad campaign from The Truth has also launched an effort to inform teens of the harmful effects of these products. Because they are funded from cigarette tax dollars, they are able to reach teens with their message in a way that connects to their personality. But some feel this is not enough and that it is up to parents to get more involved.
“Parents must take an active role in talking to their teenagers about all of the substances they will be presented with” says teen counselor Dr. Sam Miller. “From drugs and alcohol, to sugar and sex, vaping is now on this list of items that parents must educate their children on. Parents should not just stand by and hope that schools or governments will solve this problem. They must create an open dialogue with their child so that they can learn about the consequences of their choices.”