Vaping 2.0: Navigating the Dangers vs. Cool Factor
At Monday’s Senior School Assembly, Head of Physical and Health Education Pete Milonas, joined by his colleagues Denise Steadman and Josh Collins, presented the myths and potential health hazards associated with teenage vaping to our students.
Initially developed to help adults stop smoking, e-cigarettes and vaporisers like Juuls, the less clunky device resembling a USB stick, are known to be highly addictive and have found their way into the hands of teens experimenting with nicotine for the first time.
While many believe vaping is less addictive and harmful than smoking, there can be the same amount of nicotine in one e-cigarette that can be found in a pack of cigarettes. That is why so many teens are discovering “love at first puff” after experiencing their first Juul and subsequent vape cloud as described in a recent New York Times story, “The Price of Cool: A Teenager, a Juul and Nicotine Addiction.”
Mr. Milonas went on to share a few more facts about vaping:
Can stunt brain development, especially for those under 25
Involves inhaling temperatures of upwards of 320 degrees Fahrenheit, which results in inhaling nickel and other metals from the devices as well
Risk of contracting chronic bronchitis, wet lung, also known as smoker’s lung
Vape flavours deliberately target teens, including: s’mores, peanut butter and jelly, blueberry cheesecake and vanilla custard
The cinnamon and cherry flavours emit diacetyl formaldehyde
Dust from vaping can cause cancer through 3rd hand smoke absorbed into skin
While it’s early days still and the real dangers of vaping may not be realized for another decade or more, Mr. Milonas, Ms. Steadman and Mr. Collins cautioned our students about the risks and armed them with information. They also told them that they run the risk of engaging in a social experiment at the moment; one that they may end up paying for in the future.
They ended their 10-minute presentation with this video, entitled “An Epidemic is Spreading.”
Other helpful resources for parents and teens:
An Overview on E-Cigarettes and Vape Pens - to help educate students about these unknowns
Vaping and Teens – a three and a half minute video presented Monday https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSmEsaXLXp4 In this Children's Channel video, Crystal Cole, MD, an adolescent medicine specialist at Akron Children's Hospital, shares the impact these devices may be having on young adults.