Vaping - A Message for Parents

August 15, 2019

The use of e-cigarettes is growing rapidly among all age groups.  Manufacturers of these products employ aggressive advertising in an attempt to attract young people.  It seems that little is known about vaping among New Zealand addiction and health agencies.  To be fair, there is little long-term research worldwide and vaping is a recent phenomenon.

There is information available on-line of variable quality and use. The following bullet points are what we thought were the most useful:

- The biggest risks of vaping are the unknown risks.  The dangers will not be known for some time.

- Breathing any product into your lungs unnecessarily is not smart.

- Vaping was not designed to be taken up by non-smokers.

- Some young people start smoking after using e-cigarettes.  The spread of e-cigarettes is re-normalising smoking behaviour.

- A number of chemicals are added to vaping devices.  Of special concern are compounds not found in conventional cigarettes, e.g. propylene glycol.

- A common additive to e-cigarettes is nicotine, a highly addictive drug with known health risks. Young people may add very high amounts of nicotine to get a “buzz”.

- Nicotine can effect brain development and functioning in young people.

- Studies have found increased airway resistance after exposure to vaping.

- Research suggests that vaping damages the brain,heart and lungs.  It may lead to cancerous tumours, can account for stillbirths and that the harmful effects are exacerbated during foetal development and adolescence.

- There is little consistency across different products.

- There is no evidence that the aerosol used is safe.

- The general advice from experts is to steer clear of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

Should you have any concern about your sons, please contact us:

Stuart Slater, Guidance Counsellor, s.slater@wc.school.nz, phone 802 2548.

Sarah Parker, Guidance Counsellor, s.parker@wc.school.nz, phone 803 0304