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Vaping, Nicotine and Weed

Vaping, Nicotine and Weed

Talking to Kids about the Dangers of Vaping 


In recent years, vaping has become the most common way teens use tobacco. With names like Watermelon Twist and Mango Madness, flavors are the #1 reason why kids want to vape. Sweet and minty flavors make tobacco feel and taste less harsh, making it easier for kids to use. The use of flavors in tobacco products leads young people to think it is less harmful.

Know the facts

  • Vaping exposes teens to harmful chemicals and heavy metals known to cause cancer and other illnesses.
  • Almost all vaping products contain nicotine. However, many teens think vaping is nicotine-free.
  • Teens who vape may be more likely to use regular cigarettes.
  • Vaping marijuana/THC has also grown in popularity among teens.
  • Even though you need to be at least 21 years old, kids can buy these products from peers at school, from stores, through social media, and online.

Know the signs
Be aware that not all vaping devices produce visible clouds or strong smells.

  • Do you notice faint fruity, sweet, or minty odors behind closed doors?
  • Does your teen go outside or to the bathroom more often?
  • Have you seen unfamiliar chargers, coils, or batteries?
  • Is your teen spending more money than usual?
  • Is your teen suffering from more headaches, nausea, or sleep disturbances?

Know what to say

  • Have an ongoing dialogue rather than a single talk. Use opportunities like seeing people vape on the street or on TV to start a conversation.
  • Most teens know nicotine is addictive, but they should know it alters the brain to make:
    • Addiction to other drugs easier
    • Learning more difficult
    • Anxiety, irritability, and mood swings worse
  • Ask questions. Then listen.
    • Do you have friends who vape?
    • Have you tried it?
    • What made you say “yes” or “no”?

For more information:

Hablar con los niños sobre los peligros del vapeo

En los últimos años, el vapeo se ha convertido en la forma más común de consumo de tabaco por parte de los adolescentes. Con nombres como Watermelon Twist (toque de sandía) y Mango Madness (locura de mango), los sabores son la razón número uno por la que los niños quieren vapear. Los sabores dulces y mentolados hacen que el tabaco se sienta y sepa menos fuerte, lo que facilita su uso para los niños. El uso de sabores en los productos del tabaco lleva a los jóvenes a pensar que es menos dañino.

Conozca los hechos

  • Vapear expone a los adolescentes a químicos tóxico y metales pesados conocidos por causar cáncer y otras enfermedades.
  • Casi todos los productos de vapeo contienen nicotina. Sin embargo, muchos adolescentes piensan que los vapeadores
    no contienen nicotina.
  • Los adolescentes que vapean pueden ser más propensos a consumir cigarrillos regulares.
  • Vapear marihuana/THC también ha ganado popularidad entre los adolescentes.
  • Aunque hay que tener al menos 21 años, los niños pueden comprar estos productos de sus compañeros en la escuela, en las tiendas, a través de las redes sociales y por Internet.

Conozca las señales
Tenga en cuenta que no todos los dispositivos de vapeo producen nubes visibles u olores fuertes.

  • ¿Nota un leve olor afrutado, dulce o mentolado dentro de su casa?
  • ¿Su adolescente sale de la casa o va al baño con más frecuencia?
  • ¿Ha visto cargadores, bobinas o baterías desconocidas?
  • ¿Su adolescente está gastando más dinero de lo habitual?
  • ¿Su adolescente está sufriendo más dolores de cabeza, náuseas o trastornos del sueño?

Sepa qué decir

  • Tenga un diálogo continuo en lugar de una sola conversación. Aproveche oportunidades como ver a personas vapeando en la calle o en
    la televisión para iniciar una conversación.
  • La mayoría de los adolescentes saben que la nicotina es adictiva, pero deberían saber que
    altera el cerebro de modo tal que:
    • Facilita la adicción a otras drogas
    • Dificulta el aprendizaje
    • Empeora la ansiedad, la irritabilidad y los cambios de humor
  • Haga preguntas. Luego escuche.
    • ¿Tienes amigos que vapean?
    • ¿Lo has probado?
    • ¿Qué te hizo decir “sí” o “no”?

Para obtener más información:

In the News

Teens Vulnerable to Social Media Promotion of Vaping
Stanford Medicine, February 19, 2020

In an Echo of the Big Tobacco Hearings, Top E-Cigarette Execs Admit Nicotine Is Addictive
Colorado Public Radio, February 6, 2020

Vaping Could be 'Potentially Even More' Harmful to Hearts Than Smoking, Scientists Warn
Newsweek, November 11, 2019

Doctors Lack Treatments for Nicotine-Addicted Youth
Politico, October 21, 2019

Are More than 150 Sick Teens Enough to Make Their Peers Stop Vaping?Savannah Now, October 15, 2019

High School Vape Culture Can Be Almost As Hard To Shake As Addiction, Teens Say
KQED Mindshift, October 14, 2019

CDC, State Health Officials Investigating Link Between Vaping and Severe Lung Disease
CNN, August 17, 2019

Dozens of Young People Hospitalized for Breathing and Lung Problems After Vaping
New York Times, August 14, 2019

Juul-alikes Are Filling Shelves With Sweet, Teen-Friendly Nicotine Flavors
New York Times, August 13, 2019

Juul Pods Almost Killed Me: 18-year-old College Student's Lung Collapsed After Vaping for a Year
Daily Mail, August 6, 2019

A N.C. Teen's Parents Sent Him to Rehab for His Vaping Addiction. Now He's Sharing His Story to Help Others
Statesville Record & Landmark, August 5, 2019

Juul went into a ninth-grade classroom and called its device 'totally safe,' teens testify
CNN, July 25, 2019

Flavored e-cigs Appeal to New Nicotine Users, Stanford study finds
Stanford Scope Blog, July 19, 2019

Teen’s Two-Pod A Day Juul Addiction Caused Massive Stroke, Lawsuit Says
Forbes, July 18, 2019

CNBC’S “Vaporized: America's E-cigarette Addiction” with Carl Quintanilla Premieres Monday, July 15

Vaping is Hurting Teenage Athletes, Dashing Their Future in Sports
NBC News, July 10, 2019

Vaporized: America’s E-Cigarette Addiction
CNBC, July 8, 2019

Students File Lawsuit Against e-Cigarette Makers, June 1, 2019

In Battle Against Vaping, AG Sues National Retailer, Alleging it Targets Underage Consumers
Boston Globe, May 30, 2019

Study Finds e-Cig Flavors Can Damage Cardiovascular Cells
CNN, May 28, 2019

Opinion: The FDA Needs to Act on Vaping
New York Times, May 12, 2019

‘We Don’t Want Them in Our City’: SF Officials Seek Juul Crackdown
San Francisco Chronicle, March 19, 2019

Tobacco and E-Cigarette Lobbyists Circle as F.D.A. Chief Exits
New York Times, March 15, 2019

Opinion: Vaping Is Big Tobacco’s Bait and Switch
New York Times, March 8, 2019

Tobacco Use By Youth is Rising - E-Cigarettes are the main reason
February 2019, Center for Disease Control

The Best Rx For Teens Addicted To Vaping? No One Knows
CBS Local, January 16, 2019

Hypocrisy Worthy of a Big Tobacco Company
San Francisco Chronicle, December 25, 2018

Teen Vaping Has Created Addicts With Few Treatment Options
Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2018

Surgeon General Advisory Targets Youth E-Cig ‘Epidemic’
US News and World Report, December 18, 2018

How to Help Teenagers Quit Vaping
New York Times, December 18

Addicted to Vaped Nicotine, Teenagers Have No Clear Path to Quitting
New York Times, December 18, 2018

#JUUL: How social media hyped nicotine for a new generation
CNN, December 18, 2018

Teen vaping continues to rise while other drug use declines, survey finds
CNN, December 17, 2018

Dramatic Jump in teen e-cigarette and vaping use, though cocaine and alcohol use down: study
KTVU, December 17, 2018

See how Juul turned teens into influencers and threw buzzy parties to fuel its rise as Silicon Valley's favorite e-cig company
Business Insider, November 27, 2018

The Price of Cool: A Teenager, a Juul and Nicotine Addiction 
The New York Times, November 16, 2018

Juul to Eliminate Social Media Accounts, Stop Retail Sale of Flavors
CBS San Francisco, November 15, 2018

FDA Proposes Needed Action on Menthol, but Falls Short to Stem Youth e-Cigarette Epidemic
Truth Initiative, November 15, 2018

High School e-cigarette Use Has Jumped Nearly 80%. Now, the FDA Wants New Regulations
CNN, November 15, 2018

Juul Suspends Selling Most E-Cigarette Flavors in Stores
The New York Times, November 13, 2018

FDA to Restrict Sale of Flavored Juul Pods to Fight Teen Vaping
Mashable, November 8, 2018

Altria Will Pull Its E-Cigarette Pods From the Market
Marlboro maker says move is response to underage use in a market where it has fallen behind upstart Juul
Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2018

FDA Conducted Surprise Inspection of Juul’s Headquarters
Health officials say the visit was part of their efforts to combat surging youth use of e-cigarettes
Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2018

Flavored Tobacco Ban Eyed
San Mateo Daily Journal, September 17, 2018

With the Jury Out on Vaping, Clinicians Pause to Identify the Cons of E-Cigarettes
Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, May 28, 2018



Additional Resources

Photo of various vaping instruments


Smoking on Snapchat? Talking About Vapes, E-Cigs, and Tobacco with Teens


Catch My Breath Toolkit: English  |  Spanish

The Catch My Breath Toolkit is a way for parents to learn more about the vaping epidemic, gauge their child's risk of trying e-cigarettes, and find the best strategy for them to talk to their child about e-cigarettes.

Resources to Help You Quit

For more help with quitting or cutting back, you can contact a Wellness Counselor at your school, or check out these resources:

English resources:

  • This is Quitting: Text “DITCHVAPE” to 887-09
  • Visit or call 800-QUIT-NOW
  • 1-800-NO-BUTTS or 1-844-NO-VAPE
  • iPhone or Android app, free (not including $15/mo quit plan): Quit Vaping
  • For help with marijuana addiction:
  • 24-Hour Alcohol and Drug Help Line: 650-573-3950
  • For help finding an addiction counselor: Care Solace

Spanish resources: