Nicotine is in tobacco products, like cigarettes, but it’s also in e-liquid, the main substance that’s inserted into e-cigarettes for vaping. It’s what gets breathed in as the e-liquid turns into a mist or vapor. Vaping has (unfortunately) become a growing trend, not only among adults, but kids, too. While studies are ongoing, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has sounded the alarm, saying there’s already enough evidence to prevent vaping device use by youths and young adults.
Nicotine not only causes early addiction. It can also harm a developing brain, which continues to develop until about age 25. Now there’s a real danger in e-liquids containing nicotine being inserted into items that only pretend to be kid friendly. That “fruit-flavored” treat (a juice box, cookie, or lollipop), could have a cartoon or picture on the box or wrapping that only looks like one that’s safe — but it’s not. Check ingredients carefully; if it has nicotine and your child ingests it, they could have difficulty breathing, feel faint, or vomit. Nicotine could seriously poison them. It could also cause a convulsion or heart attack.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is fighting tobacco product packaging that targets kids, and that could easily be confused with safe food items they enjoy every day. Here’s some advice for parents:
- Keep e-liquid items out of the house, and away from your child.
- Tell your kids that e-liquid can hurt them. Nicotine of any kind makes it harder to concentrate, learn, or control impulses. Other chemicals in e-liquid can cause harm, too.
- Read labels of any snack that your child brings home.
- Know your kids’ friends, and if they vape. Talk with your child, their friends, and friends’ parents.
- Check for juices that are 100 percent real juice, with no added nicotine or other harmful chemicals.
- Parents: Be a good role model; don’t use e-liquids either (kids learn from adults).
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano
Sources include: www.fda.gov