E-Cigs Unsafe For Youth: Yellowbrick Experts Echo Surgeon General’s Warning
The U.S. Surgeon General is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.
In an interview with the Washington Post Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said,
We know enough right now to say that youth and young adults should not be using e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product, for that matter. The key bottom line here is that the science tells us the use of nicotine-containing products by youth, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe.
Responses from Yellowbrick Experts echo Murthy’s concerns:
Erica L. Wilcox, MS, LPC | Hopewell Health Solutions
As a holistic licensed professional counselor, I know that in order for people to be mentally healthy, that we also must take care of our physical health. This is a topic that I am very passionate about, so I will try to streamline my thoughts for you here!
This report does not surprise me in the least bit. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to educate ourselves and our children about what is in the products and food we choose to put into our bodies. This means that as adults and parents we need to take OWNERSHIP of gathering information and being aware of risks.
Of course, it does not stop there, we need to initiate an open dialogue about this with our children. An exchange of thoughts, questions and beliefs about the risks and consequences of choosing to allow potentially or known harmful products is far more powerful than talking AT our children and adolescents.
Parents can watch the above video report with their tweens/teens and ask questions such as “What stood out the most for you?” “Where you surprised by this?” “What would you tell a friend who was using e-cigs after learning that they are harmful?” “Do any of your friends use e-cigs (and if so, what do you think about that?” “Have you ever used E-cigs?” This can be a doorway to open communication, without judgement, and give the parent insight to what is going on and what to look out for.
I believe that this is just one symptom of a systemic epidemic about the safety of the products that we allow in our bodies. Do not blindly trust what someone claims is “safe” or “healthy”. Take ownership of your health and be relentlessly curious about what you choose to put into you and your children’s bodies. Manufacturers of many of these products are in it for profit not your long term well being.
T.A.L.K about it. Take ownership, Ask questions, Listen to responses and Know the facts.
Learn more about Erica L. Wilcox on her Yellowbrick Affiliate page.
Peter Perrotta, LADC | The Bridge Family Center
Some concoctions can have as much as 200mg of nicotine in a single pull. By and large there tends to be more nicotine in a person’s system who is vaping than in one who is smoking. In other words, vaping can be highly addictive. Nicotine activates pleasure centers, stimulant centers, and areas of the brain that tell teens to relax. That is a terrible combination for developing minds.
Yifrah Kaminer MD, MBA | UConn Health Center
The consistent downward trend during the last several years of “bad old” nicotine loaded tobacco/cigarettes use among our teens has been the result of persistent prevention efforts. Alas, we should curb our celebratory enthusiasm because after nicotine was kicked out through the door it is on an impressive comeback through the window (Bill Clinton take notice) as an innocent pen like device known as an Electronic (E) cigarette.
An E-cigarette is a battery-powered device that vaporizes a solution (E-liquid) that may contain any ingredient such as tobacco via an inhalation-activated heating element.
The recent statement of the Surgeon General that “Explosion in E- cigarette use by youths is unsafe and poses a major public concern” is timely and deserves the full attention of parents, teachers and community leaders. E-cigarette producers are marketing them to teens via appealing and “cool”, candy flavoring products. Many teens are unaware of the nicotine content in E-cigarettes. In addition to unknown concentration of nicotine, these products and the heating process deliver carcinogenic and poisonous ingredients such as diethylene glycol (used in antifreeze), lead and formaldehyde.
Dr. Krishnan-Sarin and her team from Yale University have found that E-cigarettes use among Connecticut middle and high-school student has been rising exponentially surpassing all other tobacco use. One out of six students used an E-cigarette last month. Besides delivering nicotine, E-cigarettes can be used to vaporize cannabis (phenomenon known as “Vaping”) without detection because vaporization results in less noticeable marijuana odor.
Furthermore, the concentration of the active ingredient of cannabis causing psychoactive mental high (THC) can be very high and cause acute anxiety/panic attacks and psychotic episodes. Use of E-cigarettes is associated with increase in tobacco smoking, dependence on nicotine and exposure to the well-known health associated dangers of cigarette smoking.
It is of the utmost importance to focus prevention efforts on the dangers of E-cigarette smoking in youth starting at home by educating both parents and kids. School official should take notice that detection of these devices is challenging and might embolden students to break the rules and the law. State and community leaders should pursue legal action against producers and distributors of E-cigarettes who target minors in advertisements and marketing.
Learn more about Dr. Yifrah Kaminer on his Yellowbrick Affiliate page.
Tell us what you think
What are your thoughts and concerns about e-cigarettes? Add your voice in the comments below.
Read the Surgeon General’s full report Know The Risks: E-cigarettes and Young People.