TALK TO YOUR TEENAGERS
Editor, Daily News
Thanks to the tobacco industry targeting our youth, Massachusetts has experienced an increase in vaping (use of e-cigarettes or vape pens) by young people. It is important to realize that vape pens are not just another harmless fad, but that they usually contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that is getting them hooked on these products. Nearly 24 percent of high-school-aged youth in Massachusetts report using e-cigarettes and almost 45 percent have used them at least once.
E-cigarettes or vape pens come in over 8,000 different flavors to better attract young people, and it’s working. Flavors are the leading reason that youth are using e-cigarettes, and the nicotine in these products leads to sustained use. In fact, more high school youth in Massachusetts are now using e-cigarettes than all other tobacco products combined, AND they are using them nine times more often than adults.
The tobacco industry has made these products sweet, cheap, and easy to get because they know that people who start using nicotine products in adolescence have a harder time quitting than people who start as adults.
Talk with your teenagers about vaping and make sure they know that vaping is harmful and that nicotine is addictive and affects their brain development negatively, including increased risk for depression, mood disorders, or future drug addiction. For more information, visit GetOutraged.org.
Central MA Tobacco Free Community Partnership
UMass Medical School