A new generation of teens is hooked on nicotine. More and more teens are using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, the most popular form of nicotine inhalation among adolescents today.
In an average 12th grade class, 16.2% will have used a vaping device in the past month. And its widespread use is largely due to the lies teens tell each other—and themselves.
1. “Vaping is safer than cigarettes.”
Vaping does typically expose people to fewer toxic chemicals than traditional cigarettes do. However, that doesn’t make them safer in terms of addictiveness. In fact, compared to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes typically contain more nicotine—the addictive substance that keeps people hooked.
2. “Vaping is fine. At least I’m not using drugs.”
Regardless of what teens think, nicotine is a drug. Nicotine changes the chemicals in your brain, helping it to release more dopamine. Teens can and do quickly become addicted with repeated exposure to this neurotoxin, which means they can also experience withdrawal symptoms without the drug.
3. “My vape doesn’t even have nicotine.”
This is a huge misconception teens have about vaping. Many, many teens truly believe that vaping doesn’t involve nicotine—or at least not the vaping devices they’ve been using. The term “vape” lends itself to this misconception, as does the misinformation spread by other teens. Additionally, companies don’t have to disclose all e-cigarette ingredients. As a result, too many teens truly believe that vaping uses only water and flavors.
4. “Vaping can actually help you quit smoking.”
The Food & Drug Administration has not approved the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Due to their highly addictive qualities, many people who attempt to quit smoking using vaping devices will continue to use them, and are likely to keep smoking traditional cigarettes as well.
5. “I can stop vaping at any time.”
Vaping is highly addictive, and as with any drug, it’s tough to quit on your own. Teens may require professional support or even medical intervention at times. Quitting vaping can take time, and many teens are unprepared for the symptoms that may come up during cessation.
Talk to your teen about vaping. Seek help when you need it.
The first step in helping a teen quit vaping is having an open conversation. Make sure your teen is fully informed of the risks, and be open to listening to your teen without judgment. Help them come up with a plan and a goal to stop vaping, and consider additional support if needed.
If you don’t know what to do about a teen who refuses to quit quit smoking or vaping, there is hope. Call the team at Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729 today for resources and support — or discover new reasons for hope with Rosecrance’s teen services.