The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, has become a dangerous trend in which too many Arkansas teens are participating. Eight years ago, just two percent of Arkansas teens vaped. Today, more than 20 percent of Arkansas teens vape. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling a vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term “vaping” is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol that actually consists of fine particles containing varying amounts of toxic chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, as well as seizures, respiratory and heart diseases.
“As adults, we need to be watchful of the young people around us and educate them about the dangers of vaping,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Manufacturers make these products to look flashy and appealing to teens. This is an extremely dangerous trend that is hitting Arkansas’s middle and high school students at alarming numbers.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to warn parents, teachers and children of the dangers of vaping e-cigarettes:
- Review the ingredients carefully because many of them contain substances known to be carcinogenic, such as nicotine, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.
- Consult your physician about the risks associated with vaping. One pod used in an e-cigarette can have the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of traditional cigarettes. Exposure to nicotine can alter the structure and function of developing children’s brains.
- Remember that studies have shown that nicotine products are highly addictive and is associated with later onset of cigarette smoking habits.
- Investigate the incidence of product failure as some e-cigarette device batteries have exploded or caught on fire, causing burns or even death.
- Remember to keep e-cigarette supplies out of the reach of small children as some have become sick or died from swallowing the pleasant-smelling e-juice.
- Be mindful that e-cigarette pods can be used for illegal purposes such as for odorless marijuana oils based upon online tutorials.
There are many different types of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, most of which contain pods of nicotine-filled e-liquid, sweet-smelling flavorings, and other potentially harmful chemicals. With sweet-smelling aromas and catchy flavor names like Strawberry Watermelon POP, Sunrise Pressed eJuice, Pink Lemonade Risky and Ice Cream, teens are experimenting with, and ultimately becoming addicted, to e-cigarettes. Once they get hooked, teens are often able to hide their addictions from parents, teachers and other adults by purchasing widely available vaping devices disguised as everyday items like pens or USB flash drives.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or [email protected] or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.