Informing Teens About the Dangers of Vaping

Jan 8, 2020

Vaping can cause similar health risks that users of other tobacco products experience. 

Rebecca Mixon, Manager of the St. Francis Tobacco Cessation Program, explained the importance of discussing vaping with children.

Vaping among teens is rising in popularity and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, according to market research group Euromonitor.

A vape is a battery operated device that heats a liquid nicotine filled cartridge that is inhaled and exhaled to give the sensation of smoking a cigarette.

Mixon explained that vaping can lead to health risks such as problems sleeping, mouth sores and unexplained nose bleeds.

“It can vary from one person to the next,” said Mixon. 

A report publihsed in September of 2019 from the New england Journal of Medicine showed cases of 53 patients with "severe unexplained respiratory illnesses" in Wisconsin and Illinois. All patients reported e-cigarette use 90 days before their symptoms began. 

Mixon expressed the importance of parents talking to their children and explaing the dangers of vaping and letting their child know they are providing them with information to help them. 

“They need to know you are presenting information to them,” said Mixon. “Don’t let them jump in front of this without information.”

Starting the conversation with someone about the dangers of using tobacco can often be redundant and a difficult task.

When trying to help a smoker quit, a person needs to be more understanding that the user is battling an addiction and know that talking down to them can do more damage than good, according to Mixon.  

“Never talk down to someone. Meet them where they are in their journey,” said Mixon. “So often they’ve heard it a thousand times that they need to quit, and a lot of times they know. They may want to quit but you have to understand that what their dealing with is an addiction.”

Mixon explained that the level of difficulty quitting is the same for a person who has vaped for two months or 20 years.

“There are people who can use nicotine for a very short period of time and struggle for the rest of their life or they can put it down easily,” said Mixon. 

"Time to Talk" is produced with the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana and BayouLife Magazine.