Experts say that the number of teens that have tried an e-cigarette has more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. A sad finding when there was actually a decline in teen smoking after 1997 and now with the introduction of e-cigarettes there is a big increase. E-cigarette smoking with teens has doubled from 3.3% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012.
The attraction seems to be the flavored cartridges with options from fruit to mint. Called "vaping" by users it is a $5 million market last year and is expected to atleast double that this year. The e-cigarettes is a battery-operated product made to look like a regular cigarette or cigar that can contain varying amounts of nicotine, or none at all. This then turns the nicotine or other chemicals into a vapor that users inhale and keeps them from being exposured to the smoke of regular tobacco burning cigarettes which can release carcinogens into the lungs. It is hard to say whether the e-cigarette is actually safer than the regular cigarettes because no studies have given any conclusions as yet. One recent study found that e-cigarettes can cause increased resistance in the airways, making it harder to breathe, within minutes of inhalation of the vapors, while other studies have suggested the products can help smokers to quit.
Right now only e-cigarettes that are prescribed for treating smoking are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration but the FDA is currently studying data on the electronic cigarettes and plans to issue a regulatory rule on the products soon. " But, based on the results, the agency reiterated its plans to extend its tobacco control jurisdiction to cover these products as well as the cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco that it already regulates." says the Times Health and Family.
The way teens are using e-cigaretts and whether the products serve as a gateway to other tobacco use will be something the FDA will take into consideration.
Every day 3000 teenagers age 12 to 17 smoke their first cigarette and atleast 3 million are already smokers. Half of that number will become regular smokers. And some findings suggest that the vast majority of students who use e-cigarettes also turn to conventional tobacco products as well.
About 1.5 million packs of cigarettes are purchased for teenagers annually. The lungs of teens who smoke will not develope completely and this puts them at a higher risk for lung disease. Other consequences of smoking are: yellow teeth, stinky clothes, yellow teeth, bad breath, reduced stamina and a chronic cough.
The Surgeon General says that teenagers who smoke are three times more likely to use alcohol, eight times more likely to smoke marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine.
It is known that 90% of smokers started before they were 21 for such reasons as: Parents smoke, to gain approval from other students, too much stress, curiousity, low self-esteem, low self-image and low socioeconomic status.
Parents play an important role in whether their children begin the smoking habit or not. They can be a good role model and not smoke at all or stop smoking all together. Help children to learn how to control stress and self-esteem issues which are usually the major reasons they start to begin with.
If you are able to make it through the teen years without taking up smoking you will probably stay smoke free.