What Parents Need to Know: The Vaping Epidemic

What Parents Need to Know: The Vaping Epidemic

What is vaping? 

Vaping is when someone inhales an aerosol made from a liquid (“e-liquid”). Most e-liquids contain either nicotine, flavoring oils or THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). The ingredients and packaging have little to no regulation. Vaping devices can be small like a USB drive or cigarette while others can be larger. Vaping companies heavily advertise to teens through social media and sometimes even in schools. They convince teens that vaping is “totally safe.” 

What are the dangers of vaping? 

Our lungs cannot process the chemicals in e-liquids, so all the chemicals get left behind and they build up. This can lead to severe lung disease within just a few weeks. 

We do not yet know all the long-term effects of vaping. Several chemicals which have been used in e liquids are proven to cause cancer and acute lung disease. 

Some vaping devices advertised to youth use nicotine salts which have almost twice as much nicotine as the e-liquids found in other vaping devices, making them even more addictive. Each “pod” may have as much nicotine as about 1 pack of cigarettes. 

What does vaping do to teeth? 

Vaping can cause many problems with the mouth. Vaping dries the mouth, which can increase tooth decay. A dry mouth can also contribute to gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Heat from the vaping device can damage soft tissues. Exploding vaping devices have resulted in serious mouth injuries.

What can you do? 

Talk to your teens about the dangers of vaping. Encourage them not to vape. If your teen is vaping and has a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, talk to their doctor right away.

This information is available for download as an oral health rack card and flyer.

Delta Dental Foundation, “What Parents Need to Know: The Vaping Epidemic,” web.


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