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Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids and Youth Teens
2021-07-06

Whats the Bottom Line on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.

E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.

Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.


Why Is Nicotine Unsafe for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

· Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.

· A recent CDC study found that 99% of the e-cigarettes sold in assessed venues in the United States contained nicotine.

· Some e-cigarette labels do not disclose that they contain nicotine, and some e-cigarettes marketed as containing 0% nicotine have been found to contain nicotine.

· Nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain. The brain keeps developing until about age 25.

· Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.

· Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections – or synapses – are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed.

· Using nicotine in adolescence may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.


What Are the Other Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

· Scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.

· Some of the ingredients in e-cigarette aerosol could also be harmful to the lungs in the long-term. For example, some e-cigarette flavorings may be safe to eat but not to inhale because the gut can process more substances than the lungs.

· Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused some fires and explosions, a few of which have resulted in serious injuries.

· Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes. Nationally, approximately 50% of calls to poison control centers for e-cigarettes are for kids 5 years of age or younger.


Arent E-cigarettes Safer Than Cigarettes?

· E-cigarettes expose users to fewer harmful chemicals than burned cigarettes.

· But burned cigarettes are very dangerous, killing half of all people who smoke long-term.

· The use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe for young people.


What Can I Do to Prevent My Child from Using E-cigarettes or to Help Them Stop?

· Set a good example by being tobacco-free and ensure that your kid is not exposed to the secondhand emissions from any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

· If you use tobacco, it’s never too late to quit. For free help, visit https://smokefree.gov/ or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

· Talk to your child or teen about why e-cigarettes are harmful for them. It’s never too late.

· Start the conversation early with children about why e-cigarettes are harmful for them.

· Let your child know that you want them to stay away from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, because they are not safe for them. Seek help and get involved.

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