Vaporizers, also known as vapes or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that heat up liquid nicotine to generate an aerosol that users inhale. Aside from assertions that e-cigarettes can birth a nicotine addiction that eventually can expand to regular cigarettes, vaping is being researched for possible links to a variety of health problems — including neurological damage and lung problems such as coughing or asthma.
E-cigarettes typically contain addictive nicotine, which can harm young brains and affect cognitive ability, mental health and personality. Evidence suggests vaping may damage blood vessels, raise blood pressure and increase the risk of clots. Some studies also show kids who start with vaping are more likely to try traditional tobacco products. Chemicals in vaping fluid can also cause acute lung injuries and contribute to eventual lung and cardiovascular disease, according to the American Lung Association.
According to information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nationally, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students currently use e-cigarettes. Current use of e-cigarettes has increased since 2011 among U.S. students. In 2011, 1.5% of high school students currently used e-cigarettes; in 2018, 20.8% of high school students currently used e-cigarettes. Between 2017 and 2018, current e-cigarette use by high school students increased by 78% nationally—from 11.7% to 20.8%.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) Facts about vaping:
- According to the CDC, “e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product by American youth.”
- Vaping and E-Cigarettes are essentially a delivery system for nicotine. Although flavored and marketed in ways that appeal to children, make no mistake, their purpose is to provide individuals with the same addictive nicotine that is present in cigarettes. This is why they are illegal to purchase under the age of 18 in our state.
- A typical “pod” of vape juice or oil has roughly the same level of nicotine as a full pack of cigarettes. Fewer than 2% of all vape juices are nicotine free.
- 1 Mango flavored Juul pod (typical name-brand vape oil provider) costs about $4 when purchased in a four pack. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is about $9. This means that it costs significantly less to buy the same amount of nicotine through a vaping/E-Cigarette.
- The Surgeon General has identified numerous adverse health effects associated with vaping. These negative side effects are especially serious in developing brains – like those of teens and adolescents.
- Most disturbing, with this new type of delivery system, there is a rise in THC/Cannabis-related/Hemp oil use among teens. These “oils” can be bought over the internet through Canadian retailers and shipped to the US. Individuals with documented medical need can also purchase them for personal use in some states. While this may appear to make this marijuana alternative legal, it is not. Per law enforcement, possession of these types of “oils,” without proper medical documentation is considered illegal and may result in serious legal charges by law enforcement.
According to the Galena Park I.S.D. Student Code of Conduct, possession of the following is prohibited: tobacco products; cigarettes; e-cigarettes; and any component, part, or accessory for an e-cigarette device.
Additionally, it is against the Code of Conduct to possess, use, give, or sell paraphernalia related to any prohibited substance and will result in disciplinary consequences.
Galena Park I.S.D. will continue to partner with our families to bring awareness to this growing problem and to protect the health of our students.
If you have questions or need assistance with one of your children that may be addicted to these substances, please contact your child’s school nurse.