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What Nurses Need to Know About Vaping

The use of e-cigarettes has become more common over the last few years, especially among teens. In 2015, an estimated 2.39 million high school students smoked e-cigarettes compared to 1.37 million who smoked regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes are designed to look like regular cigarettes but can sometimes look like other everyday items such as pens or USB flash drives. Using an e-cigarette is often called vaping and is just as harmful as smoking a regular cigarette.

How do e-cigarettes work?
E-cigarettes heat a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals that produce an aerosol. While common perception has been that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes, that has been proven to be untrue.

According to the CDC, harmful effects of vaping include:

  • Nicotine, often found in e-cigarettes, can harm the developing adolescent brain, specifically the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control.
  • Using e-cigarettes may lead to an increased risk for future addiction to cigarettes and other drugs.
  • Some ingredients in the e-cigarette aerosol, such as flavorings, can be harmful to the lungs.
  • Defective batteries have caused fires and explosions.
  • Since e-cigarettes are new, scientists are still studying potential long-term health effects.

Click here to read more about e-cigarettes and vaping.

We recommend educating students about the harmful effects of vaping. Click here to shop our informational vaping poster.

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