Youth use of nicotine vaping products, like JUULs, has reached epidemic levels with 32% of high school students in Larimer County reporting current use and 45% reporting ever using the products (Healthy Kids Colorado Data). Vaping has surpassed all other forms of tobacco use among adolescents and is now the second most tried substance behind alcohol.

8 Things to Know About Vapes and Vape Devices

  1. They do not produce harmless water vapor.
    The aerosol emitted from vape devices is a mix of chemicals that may cause harm to human bodies. This may include varying amounts of nicotine, ultra-fine particles, heavy metals, and flavorings known to cause respiratory disease.
  2. They are not food and drug administration (FDA) approved quit devices
    FDA approved nicotine replacement products or medication paired with counseling, have been proven effective ways to help people quit all nicotine products.
  3. They are not regulated.
    At this time, there are no standard regulations or quality controls for vape products. This means that the exact ingredients, including how much nicotine is present, are unknown. This makes it hard for scientists to know the long-term health effects.
  4. Vape devices can be used for marijuana.
    Vape devices can be used discreetly and often contain high concentrations of marijuana.
  5. Nicotine is addictive.
    Anyone who uses nicotine and tobacco products is at risk of becoming dependent, which means they can't stop using even if it may be harming them. Some devices contain high levels of nicotine, making them even harder to quit.
  6. Nicotine can harm the developing brain.
    Nicotine can disrupt brain development and cause impulsive behaviors and difficulty focusing. When young people use nicotine, they are more susceptible to a lifetime of addiction.
  7. Flavors attract kids.
    Many of these products are meant to taste like fruit or candy, which can mask the harsh effects. Most who have tried tobacco products started with flavored products.
  8. Big Tobacco plays a role.
    These companies have a history of marketing to kids and putting sales above safety. Tobacco companies own large parts of the vape market and invest in products to gain new customers as the number of cigarette smokers continues to decline.

What You Can Do

There are a variety of solutions to this epidemic and we all have a role in reducing youth tobacco and nicotine use in our community.