Parents and Guardians,
and local public health officials in Ohio and nationally are investigating
reports of serious lung illnesses in individuals after vaping, many of them
young people. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that
these lung illnesses are all linked to vaping and likely associated with
chemical exposure, but it is too early to pinpoint a single product or
substance common to all cases.
majority of these cases are youth and young adults. Almost all states have
reported vaping-related lung injury cases, and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention is reporting more than 2,000 cases nationally as well as a number
the warnings of the U.S. Surgeon General, Ohio Department of Health Director
Amy Acton, MD, MPH, has recommended that all individuals stop vaping until more
is known about these lung illnesses through the public health investigations.
is a public health crisis among our youth.
intentional marketing practices and bubble gum, fruit, and candy-flavored
vaping liquids, the vaping industry is trying to addict our next generation on
nicotine. As a result, there has been a 135% increase in high school students
vaping since 2017. Most of this marketing occurs through social media and is targeted
toward youth. Consequently, you probably do not even see it and may want to talk
with your child about vaping and the ads that they may be seeing.
Governor Mike DeWine has urged the Ohio General Assembly to ban flavored vaping
liquids, and has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take swift
action to draft and adopt rules to ban flavored e-cigarette products. Under
Governor DeWine’s leadership and action taken by the General Assembly, the
legal minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products increased from 18 to
21 on October 17, 2019.
There is a great deal of evidence showing that vaping (sometimes known as "JUULing" because of the most popular vaping device brand, JUUL) is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine even though many youth and parents may not realize it. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the mid-20s. Besides nicotine, vaping liquid and devices also contain substances that may be harmful when breathed in, including heavy metals such as nickel and lead, volatile organic compounds which can adversely affect breathing, and chemical flavorings that are linked to serious lung disease. Some e-cigarette pods or cartridges marketed for single-use can be refilled with illicit or unknown substances purchased on the street which can be extremely dangerous. In addition, young people who vape are more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes in the future.
may not be readily apparent to you whether or not your child is vaping. Vaping
devices can take many forms and may look like a flash drive or other
computer accessories. New generations of vaping devices emit very little
vapor, and it may be difficult to detect their use.
If you have not already done so, please consider having a frank discussion with your child about vaping. The U.S. Surgeon General offers some great tips in "Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parents." Some basic points include:
- Get credible information about e-cigarettes
and young people
- Find the right moment for a natural
discussion about vaping
- Avoid criticism and encourage an open
If you already know, or discover, that your child is vaping, there are free options to help them quit. The Ohio Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT NOW) sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health offers the "My Life My
Quit " program specifically for young people. A national organization called the Truth Initiative sponsors another good program called "This is Quitting." This program offers an
option for parents who want to help kids stop vaping. More information about all of these resources
is outlined below. You also may want to consult with your child’s healthcare
provider for quitting advice. If your child vapes and experiences chest
pain, coughing, shortness of breath, or nausea, contact a medical professional
together, we have the best opportunity to safeguard the health of our youth.
- For credible information on e-cigarettes/vaping
Ohio Department of Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program offers
a range of resources and links to other credible websites:
- For information about how to talk to your
child about e-cigarettes/vaping:
Surgeon General’s “Talk with Your Teen
About E-Cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for
Two good resources to help your child quit
life My Quit” program combines best practices for youth tobacco cessation
adapted to include vaping and new ways to reach and coach youth using live text
messages or online chat. The program includes educational materials designed
for teens created with youth input, subject matter experts and community
stakeholders. To enroll, text or call 1-855-891-9989 or visit http://mylifemyquit.com.
“This is Quitting” program is a free text message program created with input from teens, college students, and young adults who have attempted to, or successfully, quit e-cigarettes. The program is tailored by age group to give appropriate recommendations about quitting and serves as a resource for parents looking to help their children who vape. Youth who vape and want to quit should access the program by texting "DITCHJUUL" to 88709. Parents and other adults who want to help young people quit vaping should text "QUIT" to 202-899-7550.