In 2019 more than 5 million U.S. youth were using e-cigarettes and vape pens.

SLANG 

E-CIGS

E-HOOKAHS

VAPE PENS

VAPES

TANK SYSTEMS

MODS

WHAT IS VAPING

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol or vapor made from a liquid or dry materials that is heated an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette. The liquid can contain flavoring, nicotine, or marijuana concentrates.  Dry herb vape devices can heat dry marijuana without combusting it and without using additional liquid.  Generally the vaping device consists of a battery, a cartridge for containing the e-liquid or dry marijuana and heating component.

 

WHY DO TEENS START VAPING?

E-cigarettes release chemicals into the brain which causes a pleasurable high. What started as casual use, can quickly turn into an addiction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration examined self-reported reasons for using e-cigarettes among middle and high school students using data from the 2016

National Youth Tobacco Survey. The report found that, among students who used e-cigarettes in 2016, the most common reasons were:

 • Because a friend or family member used them (39 percent)

• The availability of flavors, such as mint, candy, fruit or chocolate (31 percent)

• The belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than
other forms of tobacco, such as cigarettes (17.1 percent)

 

E-CIGARETTES AND VAPE PENS COME IN MANY SHAPES AND SIZES

Some look like a tobacco product, which makes them hard to spot.  While others like JUUL and myblue, which are popular with teens, resemble and are as small as a USB flash drive.  Larger devices such as tank systems, or “mods,” do not resemble other tobacco products.  Because these products can look like USB drives, pens and everyday objects it is often difficult for parents and teachers to recognize. 

E-CIGARETTES AND VAPE PENS ARE A WAY TO INHALE NICOTINE AND MARIJUANA

The aerosol emitted can also contain other harmful substances, including heavy metals such as lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer causing agents.  Certain products emit very low amounts of aerosol or “vapor,” which makes them easier to use discreetly then combustible cigarettes.  Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, the same highly addictive drug in cigarettes.  Some e-cigarettes may contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes. 

Vaping is the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students and students report the use of vape pens in bathrooms and classrooms.

E-CIGARETTES AND VAPE PENS ARE SAFE  

Vape pens typically deliver nicotine, in as little as 10 seconds, a highly addictive and harmful drug to the youth brain and body. Teens are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine since the brain is still developing during these years and through young adulthood. Nicotine exposure during the teen years can disrupt normal brain developement and may have long-lasting effects, like increased impulsivity and mood disorders.    

Vape aerosol can contain harmful chemicals and metal particles, exposing the usere’s lungs to chemicals like formaldehyde, acrolein, acetaldehyde chromium, nickel, lead, tin and aluminum which are known to cause irreversible lung damage and can be toxic.

In addition vapes get their flavors from chemicals which are safe to eat in food, but not safte to inhale.  For example some buttery-flavored vapes like carmel contain diacetyl and acetoin.  Inhaling diacetyl has been linked to “Popcorn Lung,” a diesease that doesn’t have a cure.

People who use marijuana in a vape pen may experience the same side effects as they would if they smoked marijuana,  all of which can be heightened if the person uses marijuana with another substance, such as alcohol. 

Additionally, some vape devices have been known to explode, resulting in burns and other injuries. 

Popcorn Lung                                                                      Results of e-cigarette that exploded
 

A BIG PROBLEM….A SMALL DEVICE

In 2019, over 27% of high school students and over 10% of middle school students were using e-cigarettes. 

VAPING AND MARIJUANA  

In addition to nicotine and flavored liquids, marijuana concentrates can also be vaped.  A marijuana concentrate is a highly potent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) concentrated mass (THC is a psychoactive substance in marijuana) that is most similar in appearance to either honey or butter, which is why it is referred to or known on the street as “honey oil” or “budder.”  It can contain extraordinarily high THC levels ranging from 40-80%.

This form of marijuana can be up to four times stronger in THC content than high grade or top shelf marijuana, which normally measures around 20% THC levels.

Many users prefer using marijuana concentrates in vaping devices because it is smokeless, sometimes odorless and easy to hide and conceal.  The user takes a small amount of marijuana concentrate, heats the substance using the vaping device to produce vapors that ensure an instant “high” effect for the user.  These concentrates can also be used by infusing them in various food and drink products, creating marijuana edibles and making them increasingly more popular for their variety of uses. 

EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES 

Being a highly concentrated form of marijuana, the effects upon the user may be more psychologically and physically intense than plant marijuana use. Marijuana use affects one’s memory, attention and learning and the effects include paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, and hallucinations.  Additionally the use can increase one’s hear rate and blood pressure, and lead to withdrawal and addiction problems.

KNOW THE LAW 

People ages 18 and older are allowed to buy e-cigarettes in most states, but the minimum age in California is 21. However, just because it is legal for adults to purchase doesn’t mean they are safe, especially for young people.

Sources:

Quick Facts About Vaping.  RedRibbon.org. April 17, 2020. Web. 8 July 2020.

Tips for Teens: The Truth About E-Cigarettes.  SAMHSA.gov. May 2019. Web. 12 Feb. 2020.

Vaping & Marijuana Concentrates. DEA.gov. October 11, 2019. Web. 12 Feb. 2020.

Youth Cigarette Prevention. FDA.gov. Jama 2019. Web. 12 Feb. 2020.