In recent years, statistics around teen use of combustible tobacco products have decreased, however, statistics around teen use of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, are at an all time high. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
- About 40% of high school students have used e-cigarettes 20 or more days in the past month.
- What’s more, about 23% of high school students use e-cigarettes daily.
- These numbers indicate an alarming dependence on nicotine by young people that is exacerbated by disposable e-cigarette devices that contain up to 400 cigarettes (yes, 20 packs of cigarettes) worth of nicotine.
While it is not possible for parents to be aware of what their students are up to 24/7, it is possible for parents to keep up with the ever changing e-cigarette market. Independent research goes a long way in helping to understand how accessible these products are, the effects they have on student health as well as what to watch out for in packaging and marketing. Check out Know the Risks, a website hosted by the Surgeon General, providing a plethora of information about youth e-cigarette usage. It is also important to understand the appeal of e–cigarettes to our youth. Teen e-cigarette usage is a public health crisis that affects youth, families and communities but through proactive efforts of prevention it is possible to curb the effects.