GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT –TEEN VAPING IS AN EMERGING CONCERN
Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event.
As part of the Great American Smokeout, the Concord Board of Health and the Concord-Carlisle Youth Services Coordinator would like to bring attention to the emerging issue of teen use of e-cigarettes and other devices used for “vaping”. While we have made great progress reducing youth use of traditional tobacco products, towns across Massachusetts have recently seen a significant increase in teen use of e-cigarettes. Today, more high school students use e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes is higher among high school students than adults. Almost 24% of Massachusetts high-school students report using e-cigarettes, and nearly 50% have tried them at least once.
E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. The liquid usually has nicotine and flavoring in it, and other additives. The long-term health effects of these products on users and bystanders are still unknown, but use the devices to deliver nicotine is of immediate concern. Youth and young adults are uniquely at risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposing their developing brains to nicotine. These risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning. E-cigarette use among youth and young adults is strongly linked to the use of other tobacco products, such as regular cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco. Some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use is linked to alcohol use and other substance use, such as marijuana. And certain e-cigarette products can be used to deliver other drugs like marijuana. (U.S. Surgeon General, 2016)
The attached brochure provides more information on vaping. Another excellent resource for information is the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/