What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as “vapor”, produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. These devices are also known as e-cigs, vapes, vape pens, JUULs, “jeweling,” or mods.
How do these devices work?
Regardless of look, most contain the following basic components:
- A cartridge or reservoir which holds a liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice) containing varying amounts of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals, or THC-rich extracts like hash oil
- A heating element (atomizer)
- A power source (usually a battery)
- A mouthpiece that the person uses to inhale
In most devices, puffing activates the heating component, which vaporizes the liquid. The person then inhales and exhales the resulting aerosol.
What is being put in these devices?
They are used with a liquid containing just flavoring, and/or varying levels of nicotine, or can be used with a THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) oil. Liquids often come in flavors appealing to kids such as cotton candy and peach ring.
How prevalent is vaping?
Vaping devices are more commonly used than traditional cigarettes by teens. In York County, 1 in 3 high school aged youth report having ever tried one (Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 2017).
Isn’t it just harmless “water vapor” being released?
Vaping devices allow the user to make large clouds that many think are just water vapor, but are in fact an “aerosol mist.” An aerosol is a mixture of liquid particles suspended in a gas and can contain many chemicals. Instead of just mixing with the air like a pure gas, aerosols can leave drops behind. Because of secondhand exposure concerns, in 2015 Maine passed a law banning the use of these devices in places smoking is already banned.
Can other substances besides nicotine be vaped?
Yes, marijuana can also be vaped. This can be done by either using a concentrated oil or simply placing the marijuana inside the device (not all devices allow this).
Beyond Nicotine: Vaping Marijuana
5 Things To Know About E-Cigarettes For Marijuana
How to Know if Your Kid is Vaping Marijuana and What to Do About It
How to Effectively Talk About Marijuana with Your Son or Daughter
MaineParents.net: Your Teen and Marijuana
- Juul & The Guinea Pig Generation: Public Health Concerns About Use by Young People from the Public Health Law Center
- Flavors Hook Kids An interactive website from the California Department of Public Health which talks about vaping and flavored tobacco, and their appeal to kids.
- A lesson plan and materials for the classroom from Scholastic and the National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Know The Risks: E-Cigarettes And Young People from the US Surgeon General
- Talk With Your Teen About E-Cigarettes: A Tip Sheet For Parents from the US Surgeon General
- Juuling and Youth from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
- What Parents Should Know About E-Cigarettes from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
- The Teen Vaping Trend: What Parents Need To Know from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
- Stanford Medicine Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford University
- Learn more about vaping Check out Choose To Be Healthy’s vaping playlist for parents on YouTube!
In the news:
‘I Can’t Stop’: Schools Struggle With Vaping Explosion
Teens inhale cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes
Maine School Officials Alarmed About Rising Popularity of Vaping
High School Kids Use E-Cigarettes to Smoke Cannabis: Study
‘Juuling’: The most widespread phenomenon you’ve never heard of