Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for On the Pulse, Lyra Fontaine addresses the rise in teen vaping in the US, states the risks associated with the addictive habit, and how parents can talk to their children about it.

· Is vaping the same as smoking regular cigarettes? What is the difference? How can parents talk to their children about this dangerous habit and prevent use?

· Read more about the rise of teen vaping and addiction in the United States.

Mango, fruit and crème are just a few of the nicotine flavors that may be drawing kids and teens to electronic cigarettes and vaping. In recent years, rising rates of youth in the United States using e-cigarettes has grown into a public health epidemic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette use jumped 78% among high school students from 2017 to 2018. Last year, more than 3.6 million middle school and high school students in the U.S. used e-cigarettes. The products’ surge in popularity led the Food and Drug Administration to restrict fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes at gas stations and convenience stores in 2018.

“I have absolutely seen an increase in teens using e-cigarettes, and so have hospitals and schools across the country,” said Dr. Yolanda Evans, associate professor of pediatrics in adolescent medicine at Seattle Children’s. “With these highly addictive products becoming more popular and readily available, it’s important for parents to know what e-cigarettes are and how to discuss vaping with their children.”

Also known as vapes, vape pens, mods and tanks, e-cigarettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The handheld devices include a rechargeable battery, heating element and mouthpiece. They can appear as inconspicuous as a pen or flash drive, and can also be used to deliver marijuana. A new brand, Suorin, has devices shaped like a tear drop.

Vaping is a social group activity for teens, without the stigma of smoking traditional cigarettes, Evans said. Many teenagers that Evans sees in her practice know that smoking is unhealthy, but they don’t view e-cigarettes with the same risk. This may be because vape products are marketed to help adults quit smoking and involve inhaling aerosol vapor instead of tobacco smoke.

Read the full article about vaping by Lyra Fontaine at On the Pulse.