With the rise in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette, e-cigs or vapes) and vaping use among youth, teens and young adults, the Health Department and our team are working to prevent initiation and reduce vaping of all substances in Vermont. As of 2019, 26% of Vermont high school students said they used e-cigarettes at least once in the past 30 days. Of those students, 31% did so daily, while only 19% did so 1-2 times.
Vapes contain harmful metals, such as arsenic and lead. As e-cigarettes deliver flavorings, additives, and, typically, nicotine through an inhaled aerosol, they are harmful to both the user and those who are exposed secondhand. We follow the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation urging those who influence youth, young adults and people who are pregnant to discourage nicotine use in any form, including e-cigarettes.
Why e-Cigarette and Vaping Use is Harmful
- Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is extremely addictive and can lead to smoking in the future.
- Nicotine is harmful to the developing adolescent brain.
- Vaping can reduce the body’s ability to defend itself against illnesses.
- Smoking and vaping is never safe for people who are pregnant.
- E-cigarettes contain harmful ingredients, such as heavy metals.
- The long-term health effects of vaping are unknown at this time.
- Exposure to nicotine, flavorings and other dangerous chemicals found in e-cigarettes is not safe during pregnancy.
- Vaping cannabis can expose the body to high levels of THC. Exposure to THC is a known health concern for young people.
What is Being Done to Reduce Vaping in Vermont?
We work with community partners to raise awareness of the harms of e-cigarettes and vaping and flavored tobacco products that attract youth, through the Unhyped and CounterBalance campaigns. We also review and share e-cigarette use data and trends and tailor our education efforts accordingly.
My Life, My Quit: A Youth and Teen Quit Resource
Advise youth and young adults to never start using e-cigarettes. For those who currently use, My Life, My Quit offers resources tailored to support youth and teens ages 12-17 on their journey to quitting. Youth and teens can text “Start My Quit” to 36072 or visit the website for free, confidential quit help.
Resources for Youth Influencers
Parents, school professionals and other youth influencers can play an important role in educating and influencing youth about the risks of vaping. In addition to being a good role model and not vaping yourself, here are some resources that may help:
- E-Cigarette Pointers for Parents: This document answers parents’ basic questions about e-cigarettes and vaping.
- ParentUp: This Health Department-sponsored website helps parents and guardians talk to youth and teens about hard topics, such as vaping and substance misuse.
- My Life, My Quit - Parents: A site that offers resources to help parents and caregivers support youth and teens ages 12-17 on their journey to quitting
- Electronic Vapor Education Toolkit for Schools: A toolkit educating teachers and school staff about teen e-cigarettes and vaping—and what can be done to prevent it
- My Life, My Quit - Educators: Designed with educators in mind, this site offers resources to help school professionals support youth and teens ages 12-17 on their journey to quitting.
- 802Quits e-Cigarette Info Sheet: This handy one-pager goes into detail about why people should give up e-cigarettes for good.
Health Care Professionals
- Health Advisory for Health Care Providers: Issued in May 2021, this health advisory alerts providers about the dangers of e-cigarettes and how to encourage patients to quit.
- My Life, My Quit - Providers: Offers resources to help heath care professionals support youth and teens ages 12-17 on their journey to quitting
- E-Cigarette Pointers for Nurses and SAPs: Nurses and Student Assistance Professionals (SAPs) can get the facts about e-cigarettes.
- Clearing the Air | Toolkit for Providers: This toolkit is a compilation of the latest evidence-based strategies, tools, and resources designed to help primary care providers address youth vaping in their practices.
Using E-Cigarettes to Quit Tobacco
E-cigarettes are NOT an FDA-approved smoking cessation device for adults or young adults alike. Adults who use tobacco and are trying to quit should use proven quit tools, like group or phone counseling, paired with medications or nicotine replacement therapy patches, gum or lozenges. Talk to your health care provider or visit 802quits.org.