There’s a new fad among youth that is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 and comes with potentially severe health risks – VAPING!
The most popular tobacco product used by Kaua‘i youth is the electronic smoking device (also called ESD, e-cigarette or vape). The 2017 Youth Behavior Risk Survey, published by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health, states that in Kaua‘i county, 24.7 percent of high school students and 23 percent of middle school students reported vaping in the past 30 days. An alarming rate considering it has been illegal for youth to purchase or possess ESDs in Hawai‘i since 2016. ESDs are battery-powered smoking devices constructed to heat e-liquid (also called e-juice) producing a vapor for inhalation, which is where the term “vaping” comes from. The liquids used for vaping contain nicotine, flavorings not intended for inhalation, and other dangerous chemicals.
We have long known that nicotine causes addiction and interferes with brain and lung development in adolescents. In fact, inhaling 40-60mg of nicotine can cause overdose symptoms. With some e-liquids containing up to 110 mg/mL, the danger of nicotine addiction is real. Exposure to ESD vapor can contribute to reproductive harm, respiratory damage, and cardiovascular disease.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT VAPING
Start by recognizing that your teen or pre-teen may have personal experiences to arrive at their own conclusions.
Start with genuine curiosity.
“What do you know about vaping/e-cigarettes?” or “Do you have classmates who vape?”
*Tip: don’t accuse your child of vaping or doing something wrong.
Ask open-ended questions. Be positive, don’t repeat negative statements.
“Do you know why some of your peers choose to vape?”
For more information, please contact the Coalition Coordinator for the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i, Valerie Saiki at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at hiphi.org