Vaping primarily means using an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette, e-cig, mod, vape pen, tank system, e-hookah) or other vaping devices as a nicotine delivery system. The user activates the device via pressure sensor inhalation or by pushing a button—inhales (takes a hit) or “vapes” like a smoker would inhale a cigarette. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is addictive. E-cigarettes are considered tobacco products because most of them contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco.
Juuling means to use a Juul brand nicotine delivery system as your vaping device. Juul is a vaping device that looks similar to a USB drive. Juul products (and many other vaping devices) are easy for students to conceal and use in school — sometimes even in hallways or a classroom setting.
Vaping devices are metal casings with a mouthpiece, a cartridge (or tank that houses the e-liquid, e-juice or juice), a battery, a microprocessor and an atomizer. The battery-powered atomizer, a small heating element that vaporizes e-liquid via a wicking material, draws liquid onto the coil producing an aerosol mist or vapor for inhalation (‘vaping’). Vaping devices are pictured above.
Vaping liquid is made up of four basic ingredients. 90% consists of the humectants propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine—chemicals to vaporize the nicotine, additives and flavoring.
Nicotine addiction occurs in people who use tobacco products regularly or compulsively even when there are negative health consequences. Like other drugs of abuse, nicotine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the reward circuits of the brain which reinforces the behavior of taking the drug. Repeated exposure alters these circuits’ sensitivity to dopamine and leads to changes in other brain circuits involved in learning, stress, and self-control. For many tobacco users, the long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction, which involves withdrawal symptoms when not smoking, and difficulty adhering to the resolution to quit. –Read full-text: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Nicotine poisoning has become more prevalent, due in part to the pure liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes. Liquid nicotine poisoning often occurs from skin contact and ingestion.
In addition to nicotine e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to Popcorn Lung, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
Resources for Parents
- Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parents – CDC
- Know the Risks Surgeon General
- “E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults” Fact Sheet – Surgeon General
- “E-Cigarettes and Teens: A Guide for Parents and Educators” – Safe Kids America
- Kid’s Health: Smoking – UNC Health Care
- “Concerns Explode Over New Health Risks of Vaping” – Science News for Students
- U.S. E-Cigarette Regulations – 50 State Review – Public Health Law Center
- Quick Facts About JUUL, The High Nicotine Product Hiding In Plain Sight – UTHealth
E-Liquid Ingredients: You May Not Know What You’re Vaping – Breathe Pennsylvania
- (2018) Youth Tobacco Use: Results from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey – U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- (2017) E-cigarette Ads and Youth – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- E-Cigarettes: A Review of New Trends in Cannabis Use –NCBI