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Teens and Vaping: What You Need to Know About Nicotine Addiction

Although teens in the United States are prohibited by law to purchase cigarettes until they are 18 years old, teens who vape may be using E-cigarettes that do not require nicotine. These teens hope that vaping will help them quit smoking or prevent them from starting. Vaping is becoming more popular with teens. Fortunately, through nicotine addiction treatment at Destinations for Teens, it is possible to break the link between teens and vaping. Contact us today at 877.466.0620 to learn about our teen vaping addiction treatment options.

Why Are E-Cigarettes So Popular?

Although e-cigarettes have been around for over ten years, the use of vaping and JUULs have increased in record numbers over recent years, particularly in teens. E-cigarettes are currently the most popular tobacco product used among teens. About 2.1 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2017. Sarper Taskiran, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute, attributes the recent rise in popularity to the way it is packaged and advertised. “The teens are after innovation, and they’re attracted by sleek design and ease of use,” he says. “They look like an Apple product.” The nicotine content of one JUUL pipe, a popular vape device that comes in different flavors, looks like a flash drive, and can be charged in a USB port, is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes. A newly popular device called “pod mod” is 2 – 10x more concentrated than most freebase nicotine found in other vape liquids. A single pod from one vape manufacturer contains 0.7 ml of nicotine, equivalent to 20 regular cigarettes. Due to these high levels of nicotine, nicotine poisoning is also rising. Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include nausea, vomiting, increased blood pressure, extreme fatigue, dizziness, headache, anxiety, and vision/hearing changes.

Is There a Connection Between Teens and Vaping?

The FDA reports that nearly 40% of teens in high school use e-cigarettes frequently. It is important to note that e-cigarettes don’t carry the same restrictions as regular cigarettes to understand why teens turn towards vaping. There is no minimum age requirement to purchase an electronic cigarette in most states. These devices can come in fun flavors such as cotton candy and bubble gum which attract teens. Another reason teens may vape more than smoke cigarettes is that they feel like smoking an e-cigarette is cool or popular with their friends. Teens may be drawn to using nicotine due to the rise in popularity of these products and their fancy packaging. However, other teens may be using it to cope with difficult emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, and attention problems. The truth is nicotine can cause anxiety symptoms or make them worse. Without applying appropriate or healthy coping skills to these feelings, teens can become dependent or addicted to nicotine on an emotional and physical level. Teens are more susceptible to addiction because their brains are still developing. The adolescent brain is more sensitive to rewards making it challenging to stop. Nicotine can also cause physical changes in the brain, some temporary, others more permanent. This can lead to problems with focus, memory, and learning.

Barriers to Nicotine Addiction Treatment

Nicotine addiction from vaping is a bigger problem than teens realize. Adolescents do not think they will get addicted to nicotine, but they find it difficult to stop. Common barriers to quitting include:

  • Having to inform parents they smoke
  • Not knowing how to get help
  • Lack of transportation to treatment
  • Lack of third-party reimbursement for treatment

Despite its extremely addictive nature, teens can quit using nicotine with personalized approaches. Early intervention is key. Nicotine addiction treatment specializes in assisting teens with quitting vaping. Nicotine patches and gum are two types of nicotine replacement therapy that can aid in the taper off of nicotine use among adolescents. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling can also help teenagers addicted to nicotine recover from their habit. It is important to get teens the help they need to quit vaping and smoking cigarettes before it becomes a lifelong habit. The sooner they seek help, the better chance they have at a successful recovery.

Find Vaping Addiction Treatment at Destinations for Teens

Destinations for Teens help educate and increase awareness about teens and nicotine addiction. Our rehab center offers a variety of addiction treatment programs tailored to teens. Our staff is experienced in helping teens overcome addiction to nicotine and other drugs and alcohol. We provide a safe and supportive environment for teens to get the help they need. Contact our team at Destinations for Teens at 877.466.0620 for more information.