Over 2,000 vaping related illnesses and 39 vaping related deaths have been reported nationwide as of this month. This has caused everyone, especially parents with impressionable teenage children that are often subject to peer pressure to become alarmed and take a closer look at vaping.
It's been found that 3.6 million kids vaped in 2018 and that e-cigarettes have become the most commonly used form of tobacco by kids. While high schoolers have been reported as the largest age group to be concerned about when it comes to vaping with a 78% reported increasing from 2017 to 2018, there's a second group of children that appear to be just as much at risk. The Food and Drug Administration reported recently that e-cigarette use by middle schoolers, ages 9 to 12, increased by 48% from 2017 to 2018 and a total of 4.9 percent of middle school students, which is approximately 570,000 kids claim that they vape.
While it is not concretely known what has caused this rise in vaping among this young age group, one of the theories is that a rise in flavored tobacco may be partly to blame because flavored tobacco has been found to be more popular with younger smokers. It's also been speculated that USB flash like e-cigarettes became more popular last year with tweens because they can be smoked discreetly and are easier to hide. In addition to the e-cigarette illnesses and deaths, an additional cause for concern for tween vaping is that studies have shown that people who start off using tobacco by vaping are more prone to eventually start using other types of tobacco which puts them at risk for even more health-related issues over the course of their lives.
As a parent, the best thing you can do to get ahead of this potential problem and prevent your tween from vaping is to educate them about it. Rather than hope that your child will make the best decision when it comes to vaping, parents should proactively talk to their kids about vaping and the dangers of doing it. As a parent you can't be with your children all the time, but you can help to equip them to make the right decision if they're ever in a position where they're at risk.