Since 2014 there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of youth and teens utilizing vapes and electronic cigarettes. This increase is primarily attributed due the variety of flavorings available, its portability and discretion in use, as well as its over accessibility and ease of use. So, what can be done to stop this trend? When a poll was conducted amongst teens in Loudoun County by MATA students Rohitha Akkaraju, Sabrina Sokol, Rhea Sarang, and Afrah Nirar, it was found that 69% of students were unaware of resources to seek help to stop vaping. This overwhelming statistic promoted them to write to the US Surgeon General in addition to state and local legislature about the need to promote these types of resources.
On January 24, 2020 Dr. David Goodfriend, the director of the Loudoun County Health Department and Shannon Raines, the coordinator of Northern Virginia’s Tobacco Control joined these students to present to the Academies of Loudoun the dangers of vaping.
According to the FDA vapes are classified as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). The primary function of a vape is to deliver nicotine. Flavoring and additives are added to the solution to mask the nicotine (nicotine’s primary function in the tobacco plant is to act as a natural insecticide and has an off taste.
So, what is the danger with vaping?
Vaping isn’t just water vapor. The method of delivery for vape is more equivalent to that of an aerosol product than that of a cloud. This increases the amount of risk for lung infection and disease.
Nicotine is an addictive substance the impacts impulse control. Because the brain isn’t fully developed until roughly age 26, exposure to nicotine at younger ages has a huge impact on brain development.
1 JUUL pod is equivalent to 20 cigarettes. While JUUL was originally marketed as a device to stop smoking, ease of access may actual be increasing the amount smoked.
5700 new youth and teens start vaping every day. This is over 5 million teens nationwide – significantly more than teens who would have been smoking.
Ready to Quit?
One of the leading programs is This is Quitting, which can be reached by texting DITCHJUUL to 88709. This program works to provide text messages and set up a support network to help you ditch your vaping habit.
Local resources include the Loudoun County Health Department – Dr. Goodfriend can be reached 703 771-5829 or firstname.lastname@example.org