Would you recognize an e-cigarette if you saw it? Not all e-cigarettes look alike, and vaping is easy to hide.
Electronic nicotine devices can look like a pen, a computer memory stick, a car key fob or even an asthma inhaler. Instead of inhaling tobacco smoke from a cigarette, e-cigarette users inhale vapor from liquid “e-juice” that has been heated with a battery-powered coil. This is called vaping. The juice is flavored and usually contains nicotine and other chemicals.
E-cigarettes are unhealthy and addictive. They’re also wildly popular among kids.
Pediatricians have been hearing from patients that they and their friends use e-cigarettes, according to Susanne E. Tanski, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, a tobacco prevention expert from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among youths. New research estimates that about 3 million adolescents vape.
Here’s what you should know about teen vaping trends:
Kids might use different words to talk about e-cigarettes and vaping.For example, “Juuling” is a popular word among Dr. Tanski’s patients to describe using a brand of e-cigarette. About one in four kids who use e-cigarettes also tries “dripping.” Instead of using a mouthpiece to vape, they drip the liquid directly onto a heat coil. This makes the vapor thicker and stronger.
Kids can order “e-juice” on the internet. The legal age to buy e-cigarettes is 18 years, but online stores don’t always ask for proof of age.
E-cigarette juices are sold in flavors like fruit, candy, coffee and chocolate.Most have the addictive ingredient nicotine. The more kids vape, the more hooked they become. “This is potent stuff,” Dr. Tanski said.
Kids who vape just once are more likely to try other types of tobacco.Their developing brains make it easier for them to get hooked, according to a recent study.
E-cigarettes may not help people quit using tobacco. Some adults use e-cigarettes when they want to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes. While a recent report found e-cigarettes are “less toxic” than cigarettes, most people who use e-cigarettes do not quit using cigarettes.
The healthiest option is for parents and their children to quit, according to the AAP.
from Pediatric News & The American Academy of Pediatric
Pediatricians should educate adolescents about the potential medical complications and social consequences of tattooing and body piercing as their popularity rises, an American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report recommends.
The most common complications after tattooing are bacterial and viral infections, and inflammation at the site of the tattoo. Rarely, more serious complications can arise in the form of endocarditis, gangrene, and amputations. Postprocedure care is important in preventing most complications: “Reputable tattoo parlors and piercing salons should provide a long list of do’s and don’ts on how to care for the area that was worked on, and what signs might indicate a problem,” Cora C. Breuner, MD, chairperson of the AAP Committee on Adolescence and coauthor of the report, said in a press statement. The clinical report was presented at the AAP annual meeting in Chicago.
With popularity increasing, the understanding of viral and bacterial infections from tattooing and piercing among adolescents and adults is not as high as one would expect. A study of 1,598 Italian college freshmen found that many students were aware of the risk of HIV infection from tattooing and piercing (60%), but only a minority were aware of hepatitis B (34%) and hepatitis C (38%) infections (BMC Public Health. 2011 Oct 7;11:774).
Data concerning adolescent tattooing and piercing vary by source and age, but there is a distinct trend of adolescents getting or having an interest in body modification. In samples of adolescents attending clinics at ages 12-22 years, 10%-23% had tattoos and 27%-42% had body piercing (other than the earlobe); rates were higher among girls vs. boys and among older vs. young adolescents. “Of students with current piercings, high-ear cartilage (53%) was the most common visible piercing, followed by navel (38%), tongue (13%), and nipple and genital (9%) piercings” according to the report.
In line with health concerns is the lack of common regulations concerning tattoo and piercing establishments. Although a majority of states have at least one statute regulating tattoos, “72% of states do not effectively regulate sanitation, training and licensing,” the report stated.
A concern that many adolescents and young adults may not consider is how tattoos affect society’s perception of tattooed and pierced people. A 2008 study found that 29% of people surveyed thought tattooed people were more likely to engage in deviant behavior; this belief had decreased to 24% by 2012 , according to a Harris Poll.
While society at large may appear more accepting of tattooed individuals, employers may be less open to hiring them. According to an executive career coach, “37% of human resource managers cite tattoos as the third physical attribute likely to limit career potential” with non-ear piercings in the top two barriers to career advancement (Am J Nurs. 2012;112:15). In a 2014 survey of 2,675 people, 76% thought that tattoos and/or piercings had hurt their chances of getting a job, and 39% thought employees with tattoos and/or body piercings reflect poorly on their employers. Also, 42% of those surveyed felt visible tattoos are inappropriate at work, with 55% felt the same about body piercings.
Dr. Cora C. Breuner
“Tattooing is much more accepted than it was 15-20 years ago,” Dr. Breuner said in a press statement. “In many states, teens have to be at least 18 to get a tattoo, but the regulations vary from place to place. When counseling teens, I tell them to do some research, and to think hard about why they want a tattoo, and where on their body they want it.”
“In most cases, teens just enjoy the look of the tattoo or piercing, but we do advise them to talk any decision over with their parents or another adult first,” David Levine, MD, coauthor of the AAP report, said in a press statement. “They may not realize how expensive it is to remove a tattoo, or how a piercing on your tongue might result in a chipped tooth.”
Laser removal of tattoos can range from $49 to $300 per square inch of treatment area, according to the report.
Some tips from the report
Advise adolescents to assess sanitary and hygienic practices of the tattoo parlors and tattoo artists, including: “use of new, disposable gloves; removal of the new needle and equipment from a sealed, sterile container; and the use of fresh, unused ink poured into a new, disposable container with each new client.”
Advise adolescents with tattoos to see their doctors if there are signs and symptoms of infection .
Lesions that appear to grow and/or change within a tattoo suggest a neoplasm, tumor or cancer.
Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations related to tattooing so you can inform yourselves.
Counsel adolescents about the implications of visible tattoos on jobs.
Doctors should use antibiotic agents with good coverage against Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus species (such as fluoroquinolones) to treat piercing-associated infections of the ear cartilage.
Recommend removing all jewelry during contact sports. If jewelry interferes with mouth guards or protective equipment, it should be removed before play. Teenage Moms should remove nipple jewelry prior to breastfeeding.
During high school, teens may hear from friends, parents, or even a coach to “just be yourself” – but what does that really mean? Or "Just be yourself and hang with friends who encourage you to be who you are, and not who they want you to be?" Can teens be above the influence when it comes to pressure? You can ask your teens to visit http://abovetheinfluence.com to learn more.