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Teens risk from candy-flavored e-cigarettes

When Sarah first smelled delicious scents in her daughter Lizzie’s room, she assumed a new perfume was the source. Lizzie was 14 years old. 

But the mother of two received a surprise. 

“I asked Lizzie* what it was, and she got coy and got a little crimson, which was unusual for her,” Sarah recounted. 

“I left it alone, but I discovered a vape when I looked through her luggage for school. I was in full amazement because neither her dad nor I are smokers. 

She in no way resembles the age requirement to purchase them, which is 18 years old. 

NHS Digital data shows that one in five 15-year-olds in England use e-cigarettes. 

While a study by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) indicated that among 11 to 17-year-olds in Scotland, vaping has almost doubled in only two years, going from 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2022. 

The percentage of kids who admit attempting it has also increased, from 14% to 16%. 

More needs to be done, according to Dr. Mike McKean, vice president of policy at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, to stop people from starting. 

He declared: “I am quite alarmed by the surge in the use of e-cigarettes by kids and teenagers. 

They are still a relatively new product, and it is still unclear what will happen to them over time. 

E-cigarettes are recommended by the NHS as a tool for quitting smoking since they are less dangerous than traditional cigarettes. 

In contrast to tobacco smoke, which contains both tar and dangerous carbon monoxide, vaping does not burn tobacco. 

Additionally, they are made so that you breathe in nicotine rather than harmful smoke. 

However, nicotine is very addictive and has been associated with elevated blood pressure, a faster heartbeat, and artery narrowing. 

The adorable, colourful, and sweet-like branding that surrounds vapes, according to experts, is a big factor in teens’ attraction to them. 

Young people who have never smoked or vaped were consistently more likely to notice e-cigarette advertisements than adults who smoke, according to a University College London study. 

Small disposable vape pens start at £4, available in flavours like Cotton Candy Ice, Blue Razz Lemonade, and Blueberry Sour Raspberry, and can be conveniently thrown away at school because they don’t need to be charged or replenished. 

Plymouth resident Sarah thinks Lizzie was duped by the teen-friendly packaging. 

She claimed: “Lizzie said she enjoyed the doughnut, popcorn, and marshmallow flavours. While she was pleased I’d found out and had made a quit pledge, she admitted she did enjoy her vape, which was a gold ombre one. 

“The vape businesses are obviously targeting kids with these items. 

“There are bubblegum, cookie, chocolate, cotton candy and millions of sweets flavours – what adult would want those tastes with their nicotine? 

The actual vapes are colourful and marketed to young people. They are performing tasks with precision. It’s repulsive. 

Dr. Mike concurs: “It’s obvious that e-cigarette businesses are going for kids and teenagers with their colourful packaging, exotic flavours, and alluring names. 

“Disposable e-cigarettes are becoming more and more popular among kids and teenagers, and they are simple to find in newsstands and candy stores. 

Today, a vape shop can be found on practically every main street. 

These businesses only care about luring children and teenagers so they may exploit them for profit. Their wellbeing and health are given absolutely no consideration. 

I was in full amazement because neither her dad nor I are smokers. 

Sarah 

Sarah says her daughter bought her vaporizer in a shop and was not asked for ID. 

There should be stronger controls, she continued. A bar would lose its alcohol licence if it sold alcohol to people under the age of 18. 

The amount of nicotine that vapes can contain is strictly regulated, but Dr. Mike says more needs to be done to prevent children from finding them enticing. 

It’s time for the government to take action by requiring plain packaging for e-cigarettes and nicotine- and non-nicotine-containing e-liquid bottles, he said. 

“Stronger regulations on vaping product advertising are also required to make sure that these products are solely promoted as tools for quitting smoking rather than as vibrant, entertaining lifestyle items. 

We run the risk of raising generations of nicotine-dependent children if immediate action is not taken. 

“Gross images” 

According to research, e-cigarette users among young people are twice as likely to have a persistent cough as non-users. 

Additionally, it has been discovered that vaping impairs lung function. Additionally, studies in South Korea have revealed a link to gum disease. 

Although Lizzie has stopped vaping, she claims that many of her friends are unaware of the dangers to their health. 

“I didn’t know they had nicotine in them when I started,” she continued. 

“I’ve informed my pals that they exist and that they may be almost as harmful to your health as smoking, but I don’t think they take me seriously. 

They taste well and come in attractive packaging, unlike cigarette packets with unappealing images on the front. 

There are a lot of kids vaping at my school, and I doubt anyone is aware of how unhealthy they are. 

“If you’re worried your teen may be frequently vaping, they may also be smoking, which is much more hazardous,” says Deborah Arnott, CEO of ASH. 

“Tell them that vaping is not for kids, and that even though it can help people quit smoking, you shouldn’t vape if you don’t smoke.” 

The UK Vaping Industry Association’s director general, John Dunne, stated: “We maintain a zero-tolerance approach for anyone in our membership discovered to be selling vape goods to youngsters. The law is crystal clear that no one under the age of 18 should be vaping. 

Unfortunately, there are some dishonest rogue traders out there, both online and offline. 

We believe that those who have never smoked should not vape, and anybody under the age of 18 should never use these products. 

We vehemently oppose any marketing directed at children. 

*Names were altered 

How to discuss vaping with your children ANTI-SMOKING organisation According to ASH, it’s preferable to “ask” your teen questions as opposed to “inform” them about e-cigarettes. Here are some recommendations for various cases. ASK THEM WHY THEY VAPE AND WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT IT IF YOU’VE CATCHED THEM DOING SO. Let them discuss, express themselves, and deliberate. You can then determine what is happening and how best to assist them. 

Asking them things like, “What do you love about vaping?” will help you to understand why they are using it. Or “How do you feel after vaping?” 

Don’t forget to inquire about their smoking habits as well, and if so, why. 

Reiterate that while you’d prefer they didn’t smoke or vape, smoking is significantly more concerning because it’s known to be extremely addictive and harmful, but vaping is significantly less unsafe. 

Let them know that you are concerned about their wellbeing and general health. 

While vaping is less dangerous than smoking, there is a chance that some side effects still exist. Smokers who are using vaporizers to stop smoking should aim to eventually cease. 

FIND THE RIGHT MOMENT TO DISCUSS IT WORRIED THEY’RE VAPEING BUT HAVEN’T CAUGHT THEM AT ITF. Instead of just bringing it up at random, take advantage of opportunities to discuss vaping. For instance, if you: 

observe a vaper 

Obtain information regarding vaping from the school 

Check out the ads 

Pass a vape store. 

Hear or read about vaping in the media 

Ask whether they know anyone who vapes and what they think about it, rather than assuming they do. See the previous sentence if they admit to vaping. 

Finally, remember to listen carefully and to exercise patience.

Ref: https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/19855049/candy-flavoured-vapes-teens-risk/

If you find yourself experiencing any of the problems outlined in this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and our team will do what we can to help you.

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