E-cigarettes and Vaping: Resources for Parents
E-cigarettes, vapes, hookah pens, e-pipes, and other vaping products are battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale, or vape, aerosolized liquid (e-juice).
E-cigarettes are not safe for youth.
Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Because the brain is still developing until about age 25, youth and young adult exposure to nicotine can lead to addiction and disrupt attention and learning. No amount of nicotine is safe for youth.
Over one in five of Minnesota high school students who has tried e-cigarettes has never tried any conventional tobacco products. Recent evidence suggests that, compared to youth who have never used them, youth who have tried e-cigarettes are much more likely to start smoking in the future.
Learn more about the Health Risks of Nicotine for Youth.
E-cigarettes attract kids despite the dangers.
- E-cigarettes are available in fruit and candy flavors; flavored tobacco products appeal to youth.
- A majority of Minnesota high school students (88.4%) have seen ads for e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.
- E-cigarettes are available for purchase online.
E-cigarette aerosol contains harmful chemicals.
Similar to secondhand smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products, aerosol from e-cigarettes (often called vapor) contains harmful and potentially harmful constituents, such as ultrafine particles, heavy metals like nickel, tin, and lead, and other cancer-causing chemicals.
Exposure may increase risk of breathing problems.
Exposure to e-cigarette aerosol may be a trigger for both kids and adults with breathing problems, such as asthma, increasing their risk of severe asthma attacks. In Minnesota, kids with asthma who are exposed to e-cigarette aerosol are more likely to report symptoms than those not exposed, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
Learn more about Asthma.
Talk to your kids about the dangers of e-cigarette use.
Parents, know the risks of tobacco use and the different types of products kids are using. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, and nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Talk to your kids about these risks and set firm expectations that they do not use any type of commercial tobacco product, including e-cigarettes and vapes. Understand that e-cigarette use, commonly called vaping, is not harmless.
- E-cigarettes and Youth: What Parents Need to Know (PDF) (CDC)
- The Vape Talk (American Lung Association)
- Know the Risks: E-cigarettes and Young People (CDC)
- Quitting Tobacco: Tools for Youth
- Should I Talk to My Kids About Vaping? (PAN)
- Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parents (PDF) (CDC)
- Health Advisory: Nicotine and the Escalating Risk of Addiction for Youth (PDF)
- Health Risks of Nicotine for Youth
- Factsheet: Youth Tobacco Use Rises for First Time in 17 Years (PDF)
- E-cigs 2.0: The Next Generation (PDF) (Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota)