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Spot the Vape

Spot the Vape

In a recent Today segment titled “Students are Hiding Vaping Devices in Plain Sight,”  members of the Today Show tested themselves, parents, teachers, and local law enforcement officers to see if they could enter a classroom and find all of the vape devices hidden in plain sight. The results of this small experiment were alarming. None of the participating adults were able to spot or locate all of the hidden vape products.

As shown in the clip by Today, vape devices come in many shapes and sizes, some you would never suspect. Not only do they come in varying appearances, but they also are all full of differing amounts of unknown chemicals. This can be terrifying and overwhelming as a parent. We hope to help you understand the possible health consequences associated with vaping, to better help you combat this topic with your teen.

 Recently, Safe and Sober was allowed the opportunity to observe an anti-vaping assembly presented at Greenwood Laboratory School in Springfield, Missouri. The assembly was lead by Dr. Sadaf Sohrab, a pulmonologist at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Her expert experience, partnered with information from sources like the Center for Disease Control and the American Lung Association, was aimed to help students understand the dangerous consequences of vaping.

This information is not only valuable for students but parents as well.

Dr. Shorab shared that 1 in 10 middle school students and 1 in 4 high school students nationwide admitted to vaping within the last thirty days. The number of students who admit to vaping increased by an alarming 78% from 2017 and 2018.  This is becoming a true epidemic among youth.

Some of the most alarming facts presented about vaping  were that “One single vape can contain the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes.” and that, “39 young people have died of vaping since this summer across the United States.” The problem is not going away on its own.

Why is vaping so dangerous? That is a question we hear often. Dr. Sohrab had a surprising response: vegetable oil. 

Vape juice or e-liquid is more than just water vapor. One of the many ingredients in this mixture besides the unregulated levels of hard metals, dangerous chemicals, and nicotine is, in fact, vegetable oil. According to Dr. Sohrab, the reason vegetable oil is so dangerous is that “it was meant to be digested in the stomach. Lungs lack the enzymes to digest the oil, so the oil gets trapped inside the lungs, causing lots of problems.” 

Dr. Sohrab says that the scariest thing about vaping is not the terrifying effects that doctors already know about. It’s all the things they do not know about yet. Their fear is in the unknown. 

Dr. Sohrab had some excellent advice for parents. As a lung expert and parent herself, she said, “Get down on their level and resources and have an honest discussion. Let them know you are there for them. If they are scared to talk to you, you won’t know what is going on.” Dr. Sohrab also recommends looking at the American Lung Associations website as an additional resource for parents looking for more details on addressing vaping with their teens. 

The first step in helping educate your teen to make safe choices is to understand the dangers teens today are facing. We hope the information presented by Dr. Sohrab helps you not only stay informed but help educate your teens to make safe choices as well. 

Taylor Williams
taylor@safeandsober.org
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