Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) entered the market labeled as a safe alternative to smoking tobacco, although they do contain nicotine – which is harmful to youth and young adults. These battery-powered devices create a vapor to deliver nicotine and flavorings. E-cigarettes are tobacco products, and have become increasingly popular among middle and high school students. The use of any tobacco product – including e-cigarettes–is unsafe for young people.
“Like other tobacco products, e-cigarettes contain nicotine,” explains Lorain County Public Health Commissioner David Covell, MPH, RS. “Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that can be harmful for brain development.” The young brain can continue to develop until age 25.
E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes. These devices can be shaped like a USB flash drive or a pen – e-cigarettes do not look like traditional tobacco products. One popular brand of e-cigarette includes JUUL ; according to the manufacturer, a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes.
Parents, grandparents and caregivers – help prevent children and adolescents from using e-cigarettes:
• Learn about the different types of e-cigarettes
• Know the risks of all forms of tobacco – visit LorainCountyHealth.com or CDC.gov/Tobacco
• Talk to children about the risks of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes
• Express a firm expectation to children that they remain tobacco-free
• Set a positive example by being tobacco-free