More teens are vaping now than ever – and parents are concerned. Psychiatrist Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director at Rushford, has important information for parents, teachers and anyone else with teens in their lives.
Q: What do I need to be on the lookout for?
A: Familiarize yourself with these products. Go online, look up JUUL®, look up e-cigarette. They don’t look like cigarettes. They may look like electronic devices, or accessories for video games.
Q: How do you fight the “cool” factor that surrounds e-cigarettes and vaping?
A: That’s a difficult thing to fight. Kids are programmed to try new things, and they’re programmed to hang out together and do things together. But e-cigarettes are simply not safe.
Parents also must understand that vaping is highly addictive. Some of these pods – such as the JUUL® products – are similar in consumption to smoking multiple packs of cigarettes. Once a kid starts, they start to develop a tolerance, which requires that they use more and more product. Then, they often transition to using real cigarettes. At least seven different studies show that kids using these electronic cigarettes or these JUUL® products are much more likely to be smoking cigarettes.