E-cigarette use, also know as vaping, has become a top priority. Teen vaping has increased 50% in Minnesota since 2014, and in Winona County 16.7% of 11th graders used e-cigarettes in the past month. There are many different types of e-cigarette devices, and most contain nicotine (addictive substance) along with cancer causing chemicals. We are launching a marketing campaign in schools this year about the harms of vaping, and we are supporting efforts to raise the legal tobacco age to 21.
We interviewed 9th and 10th graders in Winona and Lewiston to hear directly what students think about vaping. Students shared where they see it happen, how e-cigarettes are purchased, and how to prevent it.
What is vaping?
Vaping is breathing in the vapor fumes or smoke produced by an e-cigarette device. Vapor is created by heating up liquid within a device pod. Vaping is also referred to when doing any type of trick with the exhaled smoke or vapor. There are many different types, sizes, and colors that can be easily hidden. Learn more by using a GUIDE created by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
Is vaping harmful?
Vaping is harmful, and is heavily marketed to youth. There are at least four known cancer causing chemicals found in the most popular brand e-cigarettes. Although it was originally sold as a tobacco cessation device to help quit cigarette smoking, e-cigarettes today contain nicotine (addictive chemical) and are branded with thousands of flavors appealing to youth. One e-cigarette device pod can be the equivalent of a pack of standard cigarettes.
What can you do?
Become familiar with the types of devices and how to identify them. Talk about the harms of becoming addicted, ingesting chemicals, or exploding devices. You can also support raising the legal tobacco age to 21. Below are a couple handouts to help you get started or learn more about raising the legal age. You can also send a Letter of Support to [email protected] that we will forward on to our Winona County Commissioners.