The potential health hazards of vaping for teens

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boys vaping WHow e-cigarettes work

Most e-cigarettes have a cartridge, which holds the nicotine, flavor and chemical mix; a heating device, also known as a vaporizer; and a power source. In many devices, puffing activates the heat, which then vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states on its website. The aerosol or vapor that is created is then inhaled – an act known as “vaping.”

An article published in the February issue of Pediatrics found some teens are using “dripping” — a technique where users bypass the battery-operated heating process and instead apply a few drops of the liquid to the device’s exposed heating coil every few puffs. The article states dripping makes thicker clouds of vapor, improves flavor and produces a stronger sensation in the throat.

Kicking the vaping habit

If your teen is using e-cigarettes and wants to quit, TeensHealth, part of the Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health Media, recommends the following tips:

  • Make a specific plan. Set a date to begin the quitting process. Then, make a specific goal, like using one less e-cigarette each day for a week. Keep cutting back until you no longer smoke or vape.
  • Keep busy. Take your mind off e-cigarettes by exercising or doing something that involves your hands, like art, music, knitting or woodworking. Stay aware of specific times and situations that make you want e-cigarettes, and come up with a plan to handle those times.
  • Delay giving in to a craving. When you crave an e-cig, put off giving in to the urge. It can be easier to tell yourself to “wait” than to tell yourself “no.” Do something else to take your mind off the craving. Chances are, the urge will pass.
  • Stay focused on why you want to quit. Write down all the reasons you want to stop using e-cigarettes, like the money you'll save. Keep the list where you can see it. Read it every day, even though you already know the reasons. Doing this helps your brain automatically remind you of a reason when you feel a strong craving.
  • Get support. Turn to your family or a trusted adult for moral support when you really want an e-cigarette. It also helps strengthen your resolve to tell other people that you are quitting. If you don't want friends and family to know you use e-cigs, join an online or in-person support group. See if friends will join you in quitting. If not, ask them not to use e-cigarettes in front of you.
  • Be good to yourself. Some people use e-cigs to avoid harming friends and family with secondhand smoke. But secondhand vapor is also problematic, and you're still hurting them by harming someone they love: you. Be your own best friend and give yourself praise each time you avoid reaching for the e-cigs.

Source: TeensHealth


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