It’s 2023 and unfortunately, the use of vape by teens is still happening. In fact, according to the Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System Survey from 2019, 48.6% of Kansas youth grades 9-12 have said they have tried vaping and 22% have used vape at least one day in the past 30 days.
Vape products on the market in 2015 and earlier have evolved into sophisticated, high tech electronic nicotine delivery systems. So how do these newer devices differ from earlier versions?
Vape Products in 2023
The most significant vape product evolution is how much vape juice and nicotine are now in individual devices. Previous popular pod devices, such as JUUL, provided a user with approximately 200 puffs. This is the nicotine equivalent of one pack of cigarettes. Current available devices can now provide 8-10,000 puffs in one device.
Prices on these products remain inexpensive, running as low as $18.00 and coming in flavors such as Strawberry Watermelon, Mixed Berry, Blue Razz, Strawberry Donut, Mango Passion, Fruit Mint, Menthol, and Tropical Delight. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine there are now reportedly over 7,000 vape juice flavors available to e-cigarette users. While regulations have been pursued regarding restricting flavors, because they appeal to youth, the tobacco industry has found loopholes to continue to create products with flavors.
Is Your Teen Vaping?
The American Lung Association lists the following signs to look for if you suspect your teen is vaping:
- Presence of unfamiliar technology, online purchases, or packaging
- Faint sweet or fruity scents
- Behavioral and mood changes
- Increased irritability or restlessness
- Cutting back on caffeine
- Desire for flavor due to taste bud degradation
- Increased thirst
The best way to find out if your teen is using or considering using vape is to have an open conversation with them. The Kansas State Board of Education provides some excellent tools on how to start those conversations with your teen. They can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/vd9hpeyh
If your teen is vaping and would like to quit, have them connect with a teen specific vape cessation site by texting Start My Quit to 36072 or go to https://ks.mylifemyquit.org/ My Life My Quit provides free, confidential, non-judgmental support teens need to stop smoking or vaping.