Positive Parenting: The Dangers of Vaping During the Pandemic
According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 1 in 3 American teens said they’ve tried e-cigarettes, also known as vaping.
High school student, Jacelynn Trujillo has friends who vape and she says “some like the flavor. It’s a cool thing to do”. Just like cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine and other chemicals that give off the same ‘feeling’ – but it uses a battery-powered device that gives off a more pleasant smell/taste than it’s dried tobacco counterpart. Vaping made it easier for users to ‘take a puff’ pretty much anytime and anywhere.
This luxury of ‘vaping’ does come with potentially dangerous side effects, and no one is immune. Tiara Alvarez, who quit vaping, said after using the device she experienced some of the negative effects. “I started noticing that once I would inhale, it was hurting my chest. It was like a burn”.
In a recent survey, scientists gathered data from over two-thousand 11th and 12th graders’ e-cigarette use, then asked about wheezing or bronchitis symptoms. They found students who vaped were more susceptible to lung inflammation and respiratory symptoms. Experts say it’s logical that vaping could cause COVID-19 to be more severe. “If the virus enters a lung that’s damaged, that the structure has been broken, that is more permeable, the virus is going to be able to get access perhaps in larger numbers or a larger viral load,” explains Dr. Fernando Holguin, a Pulmonologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Dr. Holguin also mentioned that parents need to talk with their kids about the dangers of vaping and arm them with information. This is more important now more than ever due to the pandemic.
Research shows that the number of kids who started vaping at 14 or younger has tripled in the past 5 years. Kids often think that vaping is less harmful than cigarettes, but it can be addictive, and no one is sure yet about the long-term impacts on the lungs.
“And it’s convincing young people like listen,” expressed Dr. Holguin, “you don’t want to be having serious regrets 10, 15, 20 years from now when you’re going to be wanting to have a real full life at that time”.
Click here, to explore some of the available resources to help children stop vaping, and educate themselves and their parents.