The Health Hazards of Teen Vaping

– What is an electronic cigarette?

Also known as vaping or juicing

or the kids have a lot of names for it.

So an electronic cigarette

is really a device that
has a battery in it

that heats up a heating device
that then heats up liquid

and they call that liquid
juice though it’s not juice.

And that heating of the
liquid then creates a vapor

that is inhaled through a mouthpiece

and that’s what an electronic cigarette is

or a vape machine.

And it comes in all
different sizes and ways

and kids can buy ones that
are embedded in sweatshirts,

through the strings of a sweatshirt

and the back of a watch

and so there’s a lot of paraphernalia

associated with this.

So parents you might not
know if your child has vaped.

And the fact of the matter is
vaping is common in Colorado.

In 2018, almost one in three

to half the kids in Colorado

had tried vaping.

And many kids would say if
they go into schools today,

the bathroom is full of vaping clouds.

Over half the kids

have been exposed to
second hand vaping smoke.

So this is a big problem

and Colorado leads the nation in vaping,

so we have a problem here.

These devices, this juice,

or this liquid that gets heated up,

this is not water. This is not harmless,

it’s actually harmful.

And part of the issue is
kids don’t know it’s harmful.

They think it’s just colored smoke.

And it goes by a lot of different names.

They can buy cotton candy,
they can buy bubble gum.

And so it’s been made to sound fun,

and like it’s harmless,
but it is not harmless.

We don’t really know
what’s in these products.

With one pod or container
in a vape machine,

it may contain enough nicotine

that it is the equivalent of
a whole pack of cigarettes,

that could be smoked in a
very brief period of time.

Now nicotine is addicting.

We are addicting our kids with nicotine.

That’s one product.

We know it includes heavy metals,

such as lead, tin,

cancer causing metal,

and solvents that are,
we know can cause cancer.

Kids also can vape marijuana,

different components of marijuana.

And then sometimes they’re
adding different substances

to see if it impacts help makes them feel.

You can reload these
canisters in a vape machine

in many different ways.

So in essence, our kids have created,

or the industry has created,

and our kids are using,

essentially a chemistry experiment

that they inhale into their lungs

and that is bad for kids,

for all the reasons I just mentioned.

I believe this is one of
the top public health issues

for children today

because what it can do with
nicotine and addicting them.

Children are two to
three times more likely

to start smoking if they’re
vaping in high quantities.

That’s extraordinary cause most
kids don’t smoke cigarettes.

That’s a huge hazard.

We also know that vaping

is associated with a severe lung injury,

a lung injury that now is being reported

in different communities

and in Colorado to cause injury enough

that people are being admitted
to the intensive care unit.

Teenagers and young adults, by vaping.

We don’t know what the ingredients are

and there’s investigation now
to try and understand that,

but this is a severe lung injury.

It can look like a pneumonia,

or you may have cough, chest pain,

you’re short of breath, your
oxygen level may be low,

and you feel sick

and you go to the emergency
room or your doctor

and they make think you have an infection

because that’s what an infection can do.

But we really need to
know if you’re vaping

because that can cause the same problems

and antibiotics, which we
might treat an infection with,

don’t treat this vaping problem

that can be life-threatening.

You have to tell us.

We have to know.

Parents, you need to know
if your kids are vaping.

You need to know because
the treatment’s different.

It’s not antibiotics and other treatment.

So this is severe and
can be life-threatening.

We also know that these
compounds, over time,

can be hard on the lungs.

It can create a lifetime of lung problems

just like cigarette smoking.

So for kids, vaping is a very bad thing.

So if you do things that hurt the lung

before your mid-twenties,

you don’t ever get to the
level that you should be

and then your lungs start to decline.

If you continue to vape,

they’ll decline faster if you’re
a young adult or an adult.

We breath 20,000 times in a day.

Think about that in a lifetime.

If we’re inhaling these toxic substances,

especially as grade school, middle school,

the lungs are not going to
be healthy as they mature.

Well if you’re a parent, you
should talk to your kids.

Talk to them about whether they’re vaping

and they may not be forthcoming

but you need to explain to them
that they or their friends,

or even being exposed to
second-hand smoke could be harmful.

And if people think that they’re
getting sick from vaping,

we really need to know.

You should call your pediatrician

because we may need to
take action fairly quickly.

Children’s Hospital has an interest

in vaping related injuries to the lung,

especially the severe type.

The type that can cause
prolonged symptoms.

We’re actually part of a national network

that studying these lung
injuries across the country.

We wanna understand what’s happening,

we wanna be active and aggressive

in treating your child.

If you think they’ve
been exposed to vaping

and have any kind of lung problem,

we’d have you see your pediatrician

and if symptoms continue,

they need to see a lung specialist

so we can actually look
at their lung function

and see what impact has
been done to the lungs.

In some of these children who are vaping,

their lung function is already lower,

we need to monitor this

and this isn’t something
you can just feel,

you have to measure lung function.

So if there’s any concern,

Children’s Hospital Breathing Institute

is actively opening clinic
spots to take care of kids

who are having vaping issues,

whether they’re serious and
severe versus long-term.

We’re available to answer your questions.

Taking care of kids

really requires a
pediatrician and a specialist

in pediatric lung issues

if there are problems with
kids and their breathing.

We think about kids and the growing lung

in a very different way
than an adult specialist.

So seeking a pediatric specialist
would be very important

if you have a kid or even
a teenager’s whose lungs

are still developing.

So this public health
really emergency for kids

is something that needs
all of our attention.

I would strongly urge
you talk to your kids,

that you get involved so
that we can get regulations

so we know what’s in these pods.

Without knowing what’s in these pods,

kids and adults are
inhaling into their lungs

things we don’t understand.

Increasing the age to
21 to get these products

is also legislation that should be passed

because an 18-year-old is
a senior in high school,

and that gets vaping
equipment into the schools.

And finally the flavors;

gummy bear, cotton candy,

none of these are used by adults

who want to quit smoking.

These are tactics by the company

to have kids use these products.

So get involved, talk to your town

and the councils in your town

and be involved so that
these laws can get passed

and we can protect our kids.

Kids will be kids and we have
to be adults to protect them

by standing up what’s
in their best interest.

For more information,

this can be found at our website

at Children’s Hospital,
The Breathing Institute.

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