When e-cigarettes first launched they weren't always easy to spot because they were designed to look like a traditional cigarette. Now they can be even harder to spot for parents because they can look like anything.
One of the popular brands among youth is Juul e-cigarettes, which look a lot like a flash drive and have different flavored "pods."
E-cigarettes can appeal to youth because they come in fun flavors and they don't look like regular tobacco products, which they know to be harmful. We have been telling our kids for years not to smoke cigarettes and they have pretty well gotten the message. Youth tobacco use rates in the United States have been declining overall, with current use of any tobacco product by high school and middle school youth decreasing between 2011 and 2017. But e-cigarette use is on the rise. According to the FDA, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle school and high school students for the fourth year in a row in 2017.
Unfortunately, not a lot is known at this point about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes or vaping. But there are real risks now to teens who vape, including nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Because a teen's brain is still developing, any kind of substance use, including nicotine, can permanently alter how the brain develops.
To find out more about how tobacco flavors hook kids, visit https://www.flavorshookkids.org/.