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E-cigarettes
JUUling or vaping is more common lingo for e-cigarette use among teens, but they are also called vape pens, vapes, mods and electronic nicotine delivery systems. E-cigarettes produce an aerosol after the liquid nicotine is heated. Most, up to 99% according to the CDC, contain nicotine--the addictive drug that is also in other tobacco products. So, what’s the big deal? Nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain and the adolescent brain doesn’t finish developing until around age 25. Nicotine harms parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. As a parent, these brain functions are sometimes the ones that need the most help. Research says that using nicotine as a teen may also increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes have only been around for about a decade, so scientists do not know the long- term effects of this new product on the body. What they do know is that inhaling the aerosol can be harmful to the lungs. The aerosol contains ultra-fine particles, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals, none of which are meant for our precious lungs. Children and teens have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing and absorbing the liquid through pores in the skin. About half of Washington Poison Control Center calls concerning e-cigarettes are for kids under the age of 5 years old.