By J.D. Prose
Posted Jun 10, 2019 at 4:07 PM
Updated Jun 10, 2019 at 4:21 PM
Citing increases in the usage of e-cigarettes among young people, the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday announced a campaign to help parents prevent children from vaping.
“Parents need to be aware that these products are not a safe alternative to smoking for their children,” said state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine in a press release.
In that release, the department said it was launching the campaign because most e-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, vape pens or vapes, contain nicotine, which is “highly addictive” and can hinder the brain development of teenagers.
“We are launching a new multimedia campaign aimed at helping parents begin the conversation about vaping with their children,” Levine said. “It is so important to talk to your kids to let them know that vaping is dangerous for them and their future health.”
Levine said our brains continue developing until about 25 years old and that nicotine in e-cigarettes can hurt that growth and negatively affect respiratory function. Users are also more likely to begin using other tobacco products or become addicted to nicotine, she said.
“More studies are showing that even the flavorings in e-cigarettes that claim to be nicotine-free are having impacts on the heart, lungs and brain,” Levine said.
The health department also said that the “water vapor,” or e-cigarette aerosol, is not harmless, but can contain nicotine and “ultrafine particles” that can be inhaled into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease; volatile organic compounds as well as nickel, tin and lead.
Parents are offered several tips are dissuading their children from vaping, including avoiding tobacco use themselves, explaining to their children how vaping is harmful
, having their children speak to a physician about e-cigarettes, talking to school officials about tobacco-free policies and classes, and having their children learn about how to quit tobacco usage.
More information on e-cigarettes and how to stop using tobacco is available at health.pa.gov