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Vaping: The new cigarette

THE USE OF E-CIGARETTES IN TEENAGERS IS ON THE RISE. TAKE STEPS TO HELP YOUR TEEN AVOID GETTING HOOKED.

TEENAGERS ARE USING fewer tobacco products than they did two decades ago, and the number of teens who are smoking cigarettes daily has fallen dramatically since

1976. However, with the fall of one dangerous health habit comes the rise of another: vaping.

Vaping involves the use of electronic devices, such as e-cigarettes, to convert a liquid into an aerosol the user can inhale. Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students.

“Kids think that vaping is not as harmful as using cigarettes,” says Erik Dickson, MD, Chief Physician Executive at HSHS Western Wisconsin. “However, nicotine in any form is addictive, and some of the other chemicals in these vaping fluids can lead to respiratory problems, such

as severe allergic reactions or bronchiolitis, which can be a long-term disease.”

Nicotine also alters brain development in adolescents and increases the likelihood they’ll begin smoking real cigarettes.

So, what can you do to help prevent your children from vaping?

“Start having the conversation about smoking and vaping in late elementary or early middle school,” Dr. Dickson says. “Be direct with your kids about the health risks.”

If you suspect your child

has begun vaping, contact counseling services or ask a doctor about treatment for nicotine addiction.

WQOW Staff

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