Do you know the difference between a vape pen, e-hookah, or a JUUL? 

If not, you are not alone. Unfortunately, many teens do. 

These are all forms of battery-operated electronic cigarettes used for what’s known as vaping,  which is inhaling and exhaling vapor into the lungs. It might sound safe, but it's not.

There is an idea that e-cigarettes can be a way to cut back, or quit smoking, but there are not currently any studies approved by the FDA that back this claim up. A multi-billion dollar industry,  e-cigarettes and vaping have become a popular trend among teenagers and middle schoolers.  Teen vaping has grown so quickly, it now affects more than three and a half million underage users, and continues to grow each year.

Many of these kids who would never dream of smoking cigarettes are now vaping, believing that it is a safe alternative. That is far from the truth. Since they do not actually burn, they may be slightly less harmful than cigarettes, but many e-cigarettes contain harmful substances such as formaldehyde and nicotine which is extremely addictive and can harm the developing brain of kids affecting memory and attention. To make it worse, many companies market their pods or cartridges to teens with flavors like pineapple and pink lemonade.

E-cigarettes can look like a real cigarette, pen or even a flash drive, and because they have no odor, they are hard for parents and teachers to detect. That’s why it is important for us to educate ourselves.

As parents it important we educate ourselves. To learn more and see the various types of vaping devices, visit The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids or The Center on Addiction.