You see commercials for it all the time, public service announcements warning teens against vaping. Concerned parents should always be watchful about what their teens are ingesting, but how seriously should they take warnings against vaping? Should a teen with an addictive personality stay away from vaping? Should teens seek treatment if they are vaping a lot? Well according to the FDA, we should take teens and vaping very seriously.
As USA Today reports, Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, is calling vaping among young people an “epidemic,” and a crackdown could be imminent. Vape manufacturers have been given a strong warning, and they have sixty days to come up with a plant to help prevent youth vamping. If the plan isn’t strong enough, the FDA is threatening to step in and take charge.
The companies being targeted include Juul, Vuse, MarkTen Xl, Blu and Logic. These companies make up over 97% of the American market for vaping and e-cigarettes.
Gottlieb took a look at the current data, and was alarmed by what he discovered. Over two million kids in middle school, high school and college are vaping, and he said, “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing. We’re going to have to take action. No one can look at the data and say there’s no problem.”
Vaping and Addiction
One parent who spoke out to USA Today said he has two kids in his family who are addicted to vaping, and another parent said his teen bought Juul vaping cartridges using a parent’s name online, and he got them shipped to a different address so the family wouldn’t find out. While Juul says they require age-verified signatures when vapes are delivered, parents are demanding more, and the FDA is getting tougher than ever.
As Vox explains, teens who vape are often “Juuling.” One teen who spoke to Vox said it didn’t take long for him to feel addicted from Juuling. “After about a week, you feel like you need to puff on the Juul. To some people it is like a baby pacifier, and they freak out when it’s not near.”
And as Vox reports, “E-cigarettes have quietly eclipsed cigarette smoking among adolescents. The possibility of another generation getting hooked on nicotine is a nightmare scenario health regulators are scrambling to avoid.”
Juul is incredibly popular these days among teens, half the vape sales in the country are Juul and one source at an academy school says, “Ninety-five percent of the disciplinary infractions we dealt with in the fall and continue to deal with into the spring are all connected to the Juul.”
Some who run schools are glad to see teens staying away from smoking, but teens don’t understand the risks that come with the vaping. While it’s still not clear how addictive aping is, it could eventually become a very addictive habit with teens.
Why Parents Should Be Concerned
If your teens are vaping, you should open up a discussion with them about the risks involved. As one source told WebMD, “Nicotine is a prime ingredient in these devices. Studies show nicotine is more addictive than heroin and cocaine. And there’s a growing body of evidence that nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain.”