Vaping has gotten much more popular among teenagers in the last few years, and now more than ever more kids are using e-cigarettes.  What does vaping mean for the health of our youth, and what are the long-term effects of this new trend? 

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Pediatrician Levi Strube, DO, says vaping has significant detrimental effects, since nicotine is addictive and vape juice can contain harmful chemicals. “The developing brain of adolescents is prone to addiction, so they’re more likely to be addicted to activities and nicotine in general, and it can lead to more harmful effects down the road including cigarette smoking and other drug use,” Strube said.

As vaping becomes more popular among younger kids, parents should be alert for signs and talk to their children about vaping.  Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes don’t have a strong smell, so it’s much easier for kids to use them in secret.  Kid-friendly packaging and flavors make vaping look fun, so even kids who wouldn’t try smoking cigarettes might be tempted to vape. 

If you’re worried that your child might be vaping, Dr. Strube advises having a general conversation with them regarding their friend’s habits and discussing the many health risks associated with vaping.  If you know your child is addicted to vaping, Dr. Strube encourages you to reach out to your physician or other specialists that can assist in treating addictions.  If you have further questions, or would like to schedule your child an appointment with Dr. Strube, call 573-629-3500.