Milton School Nurses from across the district have teamed up with 3rd year medical student, Tyler Wark at the University of Vermont College of Medicine to discuss the new growing trend of electronic cigarettes. Tyler is passionate about bringing awareness to our community. You can read his blog post to students below:
“Hey Milton students! I’m writing today to help educate you about the growing use of electronic smoking products by kids your age. Have you seen these around? These products have a lot of different names: “e-cigarettes,” “e-cigs,” “cigalikes,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” and “tank systems.” But do you actually know how these may impact your health?
E-cigarettes are handheld, battery-powered devices that can deliver nicotine (a highly addictive substance) and other additives contained in flavored liquids through a vaping process. These products are increasingly being used on a regular basis or experimented with by many Vermont youth. Get this: it’s estimated that up to one in three of your peers has ever used electronic vapor products. That’s a large number of kids.
E-cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. in 2007. Since then they have been marketed like crazy. There are now over 450 brands and over 7,000 unique flavors of e-cigarette products – numbers that are only expected to get bigger with time. It’s important to realize that e-cigarette companies are marketing their products directly to you. They like to showcase celebrities, popular activities, evocative images, and appealing flavors in ways to convince you that e-products are cool, fun, and safe. You should be skeptical of these messages you’re getting. You should really think twice about trying e-cigarettes, or continuing to use them if you’ve already used them.
Contrary to popular belief, e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to tobacco smoking. In fact, they may place you at a higher future risk of smoking traditional cigarettes. The health effects of e-cigarettes are unknown and probably dangerous. Although they don’t produce tobacco smoke, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals that could lead to cancers, heart disease, and early death. Nicotine is highly addictive and may have adverse effects on the rapidly developing adolescent brain.
So here’s the bottom line: I urge you to think again about trying or continuing to use e-cigarettes, because a lifetime of nicotine addiction and tobacco use is very important to your long-term health. You’re doing yourself and your peers a huge favor in the long run by quitting now or never starting to use them in the first place!”