(WWLP) – Teen vaping is at an all-time high, and you may not even know your child is a part of the epidemic.
“There’s formaldehyde, formaldehyde that’s used in embalming, you know, dead bodies. How would you want that taken into your lungs?”
When you hear vaping… some parents may think it’s just vapor and flavoring, but it’s not.
Your child could be getting addicted to Nicotine without ever touching a traditional tobacco product. In fact, one vaping pod is actually equivalent to about 20 cigarettes.
“They can go through that in a day and not think anything of it,” said Ann Haskell, a nurse at Birchland Park Middle School in East Longmeadow. “So that’s a lot of nicotine. And it’s very difficult, once they’ve tried this, and they’re addicted to it, how are they ever going to stop it?”
Haskell told 22News parents should be aware of the signs of Nicotine addiction, including symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, and jitters.
Teenagers who vape may experience even more issues over time.
“It’s actually destroying the lining of the nose, the throat, the lungs, it’s going to have problems in the future that we don’t even know about today,” Haskell said.
Vaping devices are small and easy to hide, and can even be mistaken for classroom objects like USB drives. Marketed as a safe alternative for adults who smoke, its fruity flavors and discrete appearance appeal to teens.
“It’s a problem in all schools. In every town,” Birchland Park Middle School Counselor Diana Bannon said.
And while they’re more popular among high schoolers, younger students are at risk as well.
“Eight graders have also been exposed, you know, to friends who are vaping or the pressure of vaping,” Bannon said.
The East Longmeadow Youth Safety Committee is holding an informational session for parents and students on March 14 at East Longmeadow High School from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.
You don’t have to be an East Longmeadow resident to attend the event.