While teen vaping is on the rise, we should not that it is not only unhealthy for them, but it is against the law. Various studies have shown that nicotine can cause negative health outcomes for adolescents.
As a result, legislatures and regulatory bodies have stepped in to make it harder for teenagers to vape. Parents and family members of those who vape should know the risks of vaping and why these new regulations are going into effect.
Table of Contents
- Is it Right to Vape Underage?
- What Teens Cannot Vape
- Age Restrictions in the United States
- Concluding Thoughts about Age Restrictions
Should I Tell My Parents That My Sister Vapes?
Imagine a hypothetical situation. A brother has a little sister who has started vaping. His sister is underage and he does not think she should be vaping.
But, he does not want to be a tattle tale. He is facing a serious dilemma. Should he tell his parents what his sister is doing, or should he let her figure it out for herself? The big brother should consider the health effects of addiction.
There is a large body of evidence that suggests vaping could lead to mental health disorders and substance abuse later in life. If the older brother does not want his sister to become a burden to the family for the rest of her life, he had better tell his parents.
The younger sister will be angry, but she will get over it.
Forbidden Fruits are Sweeter
In Genesis, Eve was told by God not to eat the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, lest she and Adam die.
Why would Eve wish to give up immortality in paradise to eat of the forbidden fruit? The reason is that people like to push boundaries, especially teenagers. There is nothing wrong with this. Teenagers need to do this to learn how to become independent adults. But, authority figures, like older family members, need to establish limits.
Establishing limits on what children can do prevents them from engaging in reckless, dangerous behaviors like vaping.
My Teenager Vapes – What Should I Do?
Parents who know or suspect that their teenage child is vaping should lay down the law. If a child is suspected of vaping, search their room.
Confront the child if a vape is found. Children must understand that their parents do not approve of this behavior, and let them know that this behavior will not be tolerated. Parents should follow through on their promises to discipline their children.
Failure to do so reinforces the child’s belief that he or she can get away with anything. If this becomes a recurring problem, the child likely has an addiction. Work with a healthcare professional to find the best vaping cessation strategy.
Why Are Teens Not Allowed to Vape?
The reason why teens are not allowed to vape is rooted in mid 20th Century research. Dr. Richard Doll established a link between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s.
Controls and regulations of tobacco soon followed. One of those regulations was age restrictions. Age restrictions were meant to lower the use of tobacco among teenagers. These restrictions were largely successful until the advent of vaping. The occurrence of vaping among teenagers rose exponentially.
Food and Drug Administration Restrictions
Restrictions were needed to curb the rise of vaping, and that is when the FDA stepped in. These regulations were necessary because the adolescent brain is still in development. When nicotine is consumed, it unleashes large amounts of dopamine into the system. Since the brain is still developing, the teenager is more likely to develop a dependency. Because vaping is widely viewed as targeting teenagers, many believe these regulations were necessary.
In 2016, the FDA extended the Center for Tobacco Products’ control over vaping. Soon afterward, vape products were required to have nicotine warning labels. These new regulations were followed by President Donald Trump’s signing of an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which raised the age limit of tobacco purchases to 21. This includes vaping products In 2020, the FDA instituted new regulations that banned the sale of e-liquids that appeal to children. These flavors include mint and fruit flavors.
The Age of Vapers in the United States
Pew Research conducted a survey of available data on vaping, concluding that young adults were most likely to vape. They reported on a Gallup poll, in which nine percent of American adults vape regularly or occasionally. Pew Research also reported that 20 percent of participants between 18 and 29 vaped, compared with eight percent of those aged 30 to 64, and half a percent of those above 65. This survey also reported that Americans under 30 are less likely to believe that vaping is harmful to their health. Only 22 percent of them believed vaping was harmful. 40 percent of adults between 30 and 64 believe otherwise.
Final Thoughts about Vaping Restrictions
The bottom line is that teenagers should not vape. It has been established that there are potentially harmful effects of vaping. Also, it is well known that nicotine is addictive and that breaking a nicotine habit is extremely challenging.
With this in mind, parents should now allow their children to use e-cigarettes. Furthermore, it is illegal for those under 21 to use these devices. Children caught in school or outside the home with them will face negative consequences. If a child vapes, do whatever it takes to get him or her free of this habit.