Vaping is becoming more and more prevalent among kids. Here’s what parents should know

Vaping is becoming more and more prevalent among kids. Here’s what parents should know

All parents want their children to grow up happy and healthy, but sneaky marketing tactics by the e-cigarette industry are seeing more young Australians becoming addicted to vaping.

Australian communities are being inundated with these highly addictive and toxic products, at the expense of our young people’s physical and mental health.

With flavours like “fruit loops” and colourful packaging that resembles pens, highlighters and make-up, there’s little doubt that the underlying ploy of the e-cigarette industry is to lure young people, particularly girls, from an early age.

Vaping is becoming more and more prevalent among kids. Here’s what parents should know
Brightly coloured packaging and flavours are used to attract young people to vaping.(Getty Images: AFP)

Alarmingly, young people who vape say they feel a sense of dependence or addiction to the chemicals in e-cigarettes, and there’s emerging evidence of increased cancer risk and damage to the heart and brain tissue. We’ve even seen examples of the device’s batteries exploding in the mouths of young users.

It’s not an option for parents to sit back and wait for governments to take action though, so what can we do to help our young people navigate this rapidly spreading health threat?

What is a vape, or e-cigarette?

E-cigarettes, also known more commonly as “vapes”, are battery-operated devices that usually work by heating a sticky liquid until it becomes an aerosol – turning a viscous gel into a plume of tiny particles.

The manufacturers of e-cigarettes call them “vapes” because they want people to think they’re breathing in vapour, but the reality is that “plume” of smoke from someone using an e-cigarette is actually an aerosol full of toxic chemicals.

As a result, breathing in the aerosols from e-cigarettes lodges toxic particles deep in the lungs, increasing the risk and severity of respiratory conditions like asthma.

What’s inside an e-cigarette?

All e-cigarette users are exposed to chemicals that have the potential to cause harm.

More than 200 chemicals have been associated with the liquids inside vapes, including chemicals commonly found in nail polish remover and weed killer.

One very concerning ingredient is nicotine. Most e-cigarettes contain this highly addictive drug, even if they have been labelled “nicotine free”.

Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction as their brains are still developing until the age of 25.

Nicotine is known to harm adolescent brain development, and can impact memory and concentration.

Young people can also experience high levels of stress and anxiety associated with their dependence on e-cigarettes.

Many say stopping vaping is challenging, because they can buy them everywhere and many of their friends are doing it.

The dangers of vaping

Our lungs rely on us breathing in clean, fresh air that powers our bodies and brains.

E-cigarettes deliver a potent mix of chemicals deep into our delicate lung tissue – causing inflammation, worsening common conditions like asthma, and possibly increasing the risk of significant, long-term disease.

There are no quality or safety standards for e-cigarettes, meaning the vaping industry is manufacturing these products without any regulations on their contents and labelling.

New coronavirus variants made monoclonal antibody drugs ineffective Previous post New coronavirus variants made monoclonal antibody drugs ineffective
Brain Foundation urging awareness of often under-diagnosed cerebrospinal fluid leaks Next post Brain Foundation urging awareness of often under-diagnosed cerebrospinal fluid leaks