YOUTH VAPING

Many young people don't see the harm in vaping—and that's a big problem.

The current vaping-related lung injury outbreak in the US demonstrates that there is a lot more to learn about the short- and long-term impact of e-cigarette use. E-cigarettes are never safe for youth and young adults. Until more is known about the cause of this outbreak, strongly advise anyone who is vaping, dabbing or using e-cigarette products to quit using these products – particularly those containing THC. Direct young patients who want to stop using marijuana and need help to call 2-1-1 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday) or go to healthvermont.gov/find-treatment to find treatment options.

By understanding the allure of vaping to teens and young adults, you can advise young patients about their risks and treatment options. We can help you have those conversations.

What do you know about vaping?

Vaping devices have many names: vape pens, pod mods, tanks, e-hookahs, JUUL and e-cigarettes. The liquids they contain can be called e-juice, e-liquid, vape juice, cartridges or pods. Most vape liquids contain a combination of glycerin and nicotine or flavoring chemicals to produce common or outlandish flavors, from mint to “unicorn puke.” Batteries power a heating element that aerosolizes the liquid. The aerosol is inhaled by the user.

Since 2014 e-cigarettes have been the most common type of tobacco product used by Vermont youth. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs. In 2015, one-third of US middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes with non-nicotine substances. See Prevalence of Cannabis Use in Electronic Cigarettes Among US Youth.

Shifts in social acceptability and access to marijuana create opportunities for youth to experiment despite being illegal in Vermont.

Download “Electronic Cigarettes: What’s the Bottom Line?” infographic from the CDC (PDF)

How to report possible cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injury to the Vermont Department of Health:

Call 802-863-7240 (available 24/7)

Click here for updated reporting information.

Youth Vaping Resources

Vermont Health Response on Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, updated weekly.

VDH Health Advisory 9/16/19: First Case of Severe Vaping-associated Pulmonary Injury Confirmed.

CDC Official Health Advisory 8/30/19: Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with Using E-Cigarette Products.

VDH  Healthy Advisory 8/29/19: Severe Vaping-associated Pulmonary Injury.

TALKING WITH YOUR YOUNG PATIENTS

Your young patients get erroneous information from all kinds of dubious sources, including friends and e-cigarette manufacturer advertising. You can help set them straight with facts about vaping.

The reality: Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine

  • E-cigarette ingredients aren’t always labeled correctly. They aren’t tested for safety either.
  • Nicotine is common in most e-cigarettes. Popular brands of e-cigarettes, like JUUL, contain doses of nicotine that can exceed a pack of cigarettes.
  • Nicotine can permanently change the developing brain and impact youth wellbeing, study habits, anxiety levels and learning.
  • Nicotine is very addictive and may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
  • Becoming addicted to nicotine is like losing freedom of choice.

The reality: Aerosol from vaping is more than water vapor

  • Liquids used in vapes are filled with a variety of chemicals like nicotine and flavoring agents; we often don’t know what else is in there. There isn’t required testing by the FDA.
  • Besides delivering nicotine, which is addictive and toxic, heavy metals from the heating coil and fine chemical particles have been found in the aerosol. They can cause respiratory disease.
  • Nickel, tin and aluminum can be in e-cigarettes and end up in the lungs.
  • Chemicals that are known to cause cancer can also be present in e-cigarette aerosol.

The reality: Flavors contain chemicals

  • E-cigarette manufacturers add chemical flavoring to appeal to first-time users — especially teenagers.
  • Nicotine-free e-cigarettes are not regulated. The chemicals that create flavors, like candy, cake and cinnamon roll, can be toxic to the body’s cells.
  • If you vape, you’re 4 times more likely to start smoking cigarettes.

Download “E-Cigarettes and Youth: What Health Providers Need to Know” for more information and talking points (PDF)

Studies show that youth, like my son, have no clue what's in these products most of the time.Jerome AdamsUS Surgeon General

HELP YOUNG PATIENTS QUIT

802Quits logo

If your patient 13+ uses cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, dip or hookah, 802Quits programs by phone and online can help them quit. Free tools and support at 802quits.org

Launched in January by the Truth Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tobacco use prevention and cessation, This is Quitting is a new automated texting program using research from young people who vape. The program is currently enrolling 100-150 youth daily. In Vermont, young adults and teens can text “VtVapeFree” to 88709 to get help quitting e-cigarettes and vaping.

Texting support includes tips and strategies to break the habit of vaping and on-demand support by texting in keywords like CRAVE. STRESS. SLIP.

Initial evaluation published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, June 2019

Download and print “This is Quitting” poster for your office or practice

UNHYPED is Vermont’s youth education campaign on the health consequences of vaping. UNHYPED separates the truth from the hype so young people can see the real facts about vaping. unhypedvt.com

Medicaid and Vaping Cessation

Remember, Vermont Medicaid covers up to 16 face-to-face tobacco cessation counseling sessions per calendar year for eligible members of any age who use tobacco and nicotine products.