E-Cigarette and Vape Pen Crash Course

A Quick Guide

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What is "Vaping?"

“Vaping” is a term introduced by the electronic smoking device industry to refer to any electronic "vaporizer," such as E-cigs, Vapes, vape pens, vaporizers, and E-hookahs. The term can incorrectly lead people to believe that using electronic vaporizers produces a harmless water vapor, but in reality these devices produce potentially harmful aerosols that are inhaled into the lungs and exhaled into the environment. Although not covered in this toolkit, these products are also frequently used to consume cannabis. In this module, any electronic aerosolizer will commonly be abbreviated as e-cigs/vapes. Keep in mind, with the market and products still evolving, the favored terminology used by young people changes quickly.

Why do I need to learn about it?

While there have been declines in tobacco use among youth, E-cig & Vape use among middle and high school students have been on the rise. The popularity of e-cigs & vapes among youth is of concern for health professionals, educators, and parents, in part  because of the common misconception that these products are harmless and also because long-term consequences of e-cig/vape use are still not known. Keeping yourself current on accurate information is worthwhile so that you can be a trusted source of information for youth.

How should I approach this subject?

Contrary to common assumptions, young people care about their health and are interested in talking about this subject. Remember that young people are adept at identifying and rejecting disingenuous lectures, so approach discussions as learning opportunities for both you and the class. Take a fact-based approach, otherwise, you may find students becoming defensive toward the activities, compromising the efficacy of the lessons.