The Vaping Epidemic
The sales of vaping products are escalating and so is the enthusiasm among teenagers. Vaping is a new cult that is rapidly increasing amongst the youth. Recent years show a substantially increased use of electronic-cigarette and other vapor products and an evident decline in tobacco products. Vaping has reached an extent where it can be deemed as an ‘epidemic’.
The cult of vaping has become so popular, that it makes space for the possibility for your kid to be engaged in this trend too. Two factors prevent the parents to figure out if their child is into Vaping.
- The devices are tiny and lookalikes of common objects make them difficult to identify.
- The vapor disappears quickly and leaves no significant residue.
Why the Craze?
- Generation Y is mostly aware of the dangers of tobacco, which is why cigarette smoking is low amongst the youth. Youngsters are also aware of the repercussions of smoking but it seems that they cannot miss out on the fun. Therefore, they come up with a less harmful alternative to smoking i.e. Vaping.
- Traditional cigarettes release an undesirable odor that e-cigarettes do not they come in a variety of flavors. The flavor containing liquid in the Vapes is called the e-juice and it can be easily changed. This helps the user experience different flavors using the same device. The range varies from fruity flavors to menthol ones, which the youth finds very appealing.
- The smoke released from e-cigarettes is light and disappears easily, leaving a tinge of flavor behind. This helps them avoid the trouble of getting caught and do it at the place they want. The Vaping products are handy, convenient to use, and easy to hide. Also, E-cigarettes are easily accessible these days, youngsters manage to get cheap vaping deals with their limited pocket money.
- With social media handles flooding with hashtags like #doitforjuul and #JUULing, youngsters consider it to be a cool thing. It is also peer pressure that makes them follow the cult.
What to do?
Being a responsible parent, it becomes important for you to make sure that your kid does not land up in a hazy mess and make dangerous choices. Here are some signs that will indicate that your child might be vaping:
Less Effective Taste Buds: Vaping leaves the mouth dry, making the tongue less receptive to taste. If your child vapes, he/she might look for more salty and spicier food. It is common among people who use vaping. This effect also has a name, Vaper’s Tongue.
Sleeplessness and Anxiety: Nicotine is present in e-cigarettes which affects the sleep cycle and induces anxiety. Your child having a disturbed sleep routine might be a clue!
Increased Thirst: Vaping leaves the user dehydrated and dries up the mouth and the throat. As an obvious outcome, the body demands more liquids. If your kid increases his/her water consumption, it may be an indicator of your kid vaping. But don’t assume this only, because it’s a vague symptom. If this sign is clubbed with other signs, it will be more adequate to conclude.
Nosebleeds: Vaping dries up the mouth as well as the nasal passage. A dry nose is prone to bleeding. If your child experiences nosebleeds, this could be the red flag
Caffeine Intake: Vape users often cut down their Caffeine intake as they are already consuming Nicotine. Both of them are addictive substances that change the brain’s chemistry and lead to irritability, anxiety, and mood swings. Decreasing caffeine intake helps to avoid these side effects. If children suddenly stop consuming coffee and cola, they might be vaping.
Skin: Consumption of Nicotine leads to adverse effects on the skin and it also slows down the wound-healing process. Facial blemishes like acne and spots sustaining longer than usual could be because of vaping.
Changed Behavior: Vaping asserts some hormonal changes too. The presence of nicotine in vapes leads to frustration and the exhibition of risky behaviors.
Pneumonia: Nicotine exposure causes inflammation in the lungs. When lungs are inflamed, there can be pockets of bacterial infection which cause pneumonia.
Unfamiliar tech-looking device: As mentioned earlier, Vapes come in various shapes and sizes. If you find an object which seems alien to you, scrutinize it. To find out the presence of e-cigarettes in the house, it will be a good idea to go through the trash bins. They might have papers, wrappers, objects, etc. that reaffirm your doubt.
Role of the Parent
Educate yourself about the nitty-gritty of Vaping. Get acquainted with all the products available. Do not smoke in front of your kids and become a positive role model. If you own vape products, keep them out of your children’s reach.
When you are clear that your kid is Vaping, it becomes important for the parent to keep calm and rational. Instead of losing your cool, communicate with an open mind. Talk about the repercussions and the risks. If you have a family history of addictions, your child is more likely to be at risk of nicotine dependence.
E-cigarettes are a lot better than conventional cigarettes, but this applies to adult smokers only. Any kind of smoking is not good for teenagers. Vape products still contain harmful chemicals which are dangerous for the development of a young mind. Vaping trend is unlike fashion trends that change over some time. Vaping is addictive and excessive vaping can be dangerous, even life-threatening. If Kids start Vaping at an early age, it will be hard for them to come out of it. This modernized version of smoking is not meant for underage smokers. One must opt for it at a responsible age.