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Vaping Q&A

Scientist explaining in white coat

These questions were sent in during the Nic Sick Screening and Panel Discussion on March 28, 2023. The panel was not able to get to all of the questions in time, so this page serves to provide an answer for the remaining questions. 

Vape is a slang term used to encompass all e-cigarette type devices. An e-cigarette can appear to look like many different office supplies, including pens. An e-cigarette is a battery powered device that heats and disperses a liquid so it can be inhaled into the lungs.  A cartridge can be refillable or disposable and holds the liquid.The aerosol or vape is drawn into the body the same way it would be with a traditional cigarette. The ‘vapor’ can include nicotine, heavy metals and carcinogens.

Some e-cigarette flavors have been deemed safe to eat but not to inhale. Diacetyl, a chemical that can be found in flavorings, is linked to popcorn lung which is an irreversible lung disease. Nicotine causes addiction which is a brain disease. This can cause permanent, lifelong changes to the brain. The DeNoble Files are a great resource. 

The aerosol (vapor) emitted from an e-cigarette contains nicotine, ultrafine particles and toxins. The same toxins that exist in first-hand vaping exist in second and third-hand vaping. You can find more information in this study by the American Heart Association. 

The amount of nicotine that can be contained in a single vape cartridge can be the same as an entire pack of cigarettes. This makes it much easier to use nicotine in a smaller time frame. The brain does not differentiate where the nicotine is coming from. It reacts the same and changes the pathways in the brain resulting in what can be permanent lifelong changes. Nicotine makes it harder to feel real joy. It turns down the volume for our receptors. The bottom line is that it is not safe to inhale any substance into the lungs.

Increasing awareness and education. CATCH My Breath has a community and parent presentation. Sharing the Nic Sick video is another great way to spread awareness.

Depending on the location it can result in fines and or classes for youth and parents. Visit the Idaho State Legislature website for more information. 

Panelist Peyton Burrell had the opportunity to be in Boise recently, where she was able to share this information. “In Boise, House Bill 331 was introduced by the Revenue and Tax Committee. The bill is to revive/add to the Idaho Code section 63-2564, which is a tax on tobacco products. This new bill has the goal of adding vaping products and devices to this tax, considering them tobacco products. The first $12 million of the tax is to go to the general fund of the state of Idaho. The rest of the tax money will go to the school district facilities fund. While in Boise on March 17, when it was introduced it didn’t make it to the floor, and stayed in committee with an 8-8 vote.”

Be a support for them when they are ready. You can help make them aware of the dangers through information or videos.

13 years old. This is why the CATCH My Breath program begins as soon as the 5th grade.

DARE is only offered in the 5th grade in most of the School District 91 schools in Bonneville County. 

DARE has one lesson dedicated to tobacco and alcohol use. The other DARE officers and I feel it’s important enough we spend two weeks talking about tobacco and vaping.  We discuss the health effects, harmful chemicals, statistics, addiction, and bring in a healthy and unhealthy lung for them to touch.  Throughout other parts of DARE we discuss peer pressure and resistance strategies.

Behavior changes, difficulty concentrating, weight fluctuation, gaining or losing weight, mouth sores or dry mouth, nosebleeds, sudden interest in candles, incense or perfume and cologne, missing phone chargers.

The CATCH toolkit is a great resource as well as this video by

Have them watch the CATCH My Breath community presentation. Contact your local health district for access.

It depends on the school’s policy. Check in with your local school leadership to learn more.

Check with your local school and see if they currently have these devices. They are an important  tool along with prevention and cessation classes to help our youth. There are different funding options available, and it depends on each school.

Cessation is to stop. In this case, it would mean to stop using a nicotine product. You can increase your effectiveness rate by participating in a local group or class. 

Another great resource is My Life My Quit.

Addiction is only one concern with vaping. The lungs are only meant to inhale air or a medication prescribed by a doctor. Nicotine also increases anxiety and depression. 

You may be addicted to the flavor and or device. If you currently use a vaping device you should try going without it for an extended period of time. If that is difficult then there is most likely an addiction. Even if you do not feel addicted, there are many other harms associated with vape use.

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