Even though e-cigarettes have existed for years, it’s only recently that vaping has exploded in popularity. More than two million middle and high schoolers admitting to using e-cigarettes in 2018. Parents and health professionals alike are quickly realizing that teen vaping has rapidly evolved into a severe issue. Although many vape manufacturers claim that their marketing doesn’t target young people, it’s nearly impossible to argue with the facts. E-cigarettes have become the most widely used tobacco product among teens today.
As parents, educators, and health professionals alike are faced with the disturbing popularity of this dangerous trend, understanding the risks of teen vaping has never been more important.
What are the Dangers of Teen Vaping?
According to the Center for Disease Control, vaping is not a healthy habit for kids, teens, or adults. However, young people are particularly susceptible to the many risks of vaping. Here are just a few of the worrisome effects that are associated with teen vaping.
What are the short-term effects of vaping for teens?
- Exposure to significant levels of cancer-causing carcinogens and other chemicals
- Lung irritation and decreased immunity
- Increased heart rate
- Risk of injury from fire or explosion caused by defective devices and batteries
- Potential liquid nicotine poisoning
What are the long-term effects of vaping for teens?
- Adverse effects on brain development
- Increased potential for future drug addiction
- Inflammation in the gums, throat, and mouth
- Possible damage to cells, including DNA
- Higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease
- Potential problems with memory, focus, and attention span
How Can I Tell if My Teen is Vaping?
Being aware of the signs of teen vaping is vital in the battle against this potentially damaging habit, but knowing what to look for isn’t necessarily easy.
Here are a few signs that your teen might be hiding a vaping habit from you:
Your teen seems particularly moody.
Nicotine addiction can cause an array of emotional symptoms, including anger, irritability, anxiety, or depression. If your teen has been vaping nicotine-based liquids, you may observe changes in their daily moods.
Your teen is more secretive.
It’s not unusual for teens to lie about a vaping habit, particularly if they’re underage. Your teen might lie about simple things, such as where they’re going or who they’re with, or you may notice that they’re less willing to talk to you or answer your questions.
You’ve noticed an increase in money spent on unknown items.
Whether it’s your teen’s regular allowance or your cash that seems to be disappearing rapidly, it may be going towards vaping equipment or liquids.
What You Can Do if Your Teen is Vaping
Unfortunately, vaping can be a catalyst for other risky teen behaviors. Potentially pushing your teen towards future drug use, criminal activity, and other problematic behaviors. While many teens believe that vaping isn’t a serious issue, scientists are continuing to learn more about how its addictive properties can change the course of a teen’s life forever.
If you suspect that your teen has tried vaping – or has developed a regular vaping habit – proactive intervention is key. Oftentimes, enlisting the help and support of professionals is the best way to get your teen back on track towards a happy, healthy life. Lakeside Academy is a Christian behavior and teen recovery program in Minnesota, dedicated to helping troubled teens foster healthier behaviors, build character, and rediscover their connection to Christ.
Contact Lakeside Academy today to learn more about how we can help your teen navigate their challenges and restore their relationship with God.
Image Cred: Shutterstock/Aleksandr Yu