March 20th is Kick Butts Day. Established by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Kick Butts Day is observed nationwide and is dedicated to empowering youth to stand up and speak out about tobacco. This “Kick Butts Day” Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) is encouraging all youth in the community to learn more about the dangers of tobacco use, especially e-cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-operated smoking devices that heat a chemical combination of ingredients into an aerosol that can be inhaled. E-cigarettes are known by many names (e.g., vaporizers, vape pens, or by brand names such as JUUL) and can come in many shapes and sizes. Here are six things the community should know about this trending product and tobacco’s impact on youth.
1. According to the 2016 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. The trend is creating a younger generation of tobacco product users. Studies also show youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to use conventional cigarettes.
2. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine — a highly addictive drug that can impair brain development in adolescents. Nicotine use can lead to addiction, mood disorders, and harm the portion of the brain that controls attention and learning according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
3. The aerosol that results from using the product is filled with nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals and ultrafine particles that can travel deep into the lungs.… NOT harmless water vapor as many manufacturers advertise. While this secondhand smoke may not have the same smell as traditional cigarettes, it is still not clean, safe air.
4. E-cigarette manufactures target youth by offering their product in kid-friendly flavors. The latest National Youth Tobacco Survey reported around 1 in 3 (31%) middle and high school youth have tried e-cigarettes because of the variety of flavors.
5. Social and physical environments are important supporting factors to keep youth from engaging in tobacco products. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, youth are more likely to use tobacco products if their parents use tobacco products and if they see people their own age using these products.
6. E-cigarettes are not a Federal Drug Administration-approved smoking cessation aid. Cobb & Douglas Public Health encourages all residents interested in support to contact the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line. For more information visit www.dph.georgia.gov/ready-quit.
Researchers are still uncovering information on e-cigarettes. There is, however, enough information available to conclude that tobacco product use in any form is unsafe. To learn more about Cobb & Douglas Public Health’s tobacco use prevention efforts, visit http://www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/community-health/tobacco-use-prevention/
About Cobb & Douglas Public Health:
Cobb & Douglas Public Health, along with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has been committed to the mission of “Healthier Lives. Healthier Community.” since 1920. We are dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and safety, providing exceptional medical services, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.