North Dakota health officials look to inform public on the dangers of e-cigarettes

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With the recent trend of teenagers vaping, some parents have become concerned with how it’s impacted their child’s health. These sweet flavored e-juices may end with nicotine addiction.

Tobacco use is North Dakota’s top cause of preventable deaths. Vapes, Juuls, and mods, are all umbrella terms for E-Cigarettes. Burleigh Public Health tobacco prevention specialist, Jordyn Schaefbauer, explains how your kids may be affected.

“In the health and research world, you’ll hear them called electronic nicotine delivery systems. They’re all the same thing,” explains Schaefbauer.

They all use batteries and a heating element to warm up the flavored nicotine juice.

“The ones that use the lithium ion batteries that could potentially explode. These are good for so many puffs and you don’t recharge it.”

Schaefbauer says the first e-cigarettes in North Dakota were seen in about 2007. The products contain the same harmful chemicals as combustible cigarettes.

“These products are so new on the market that we’re continuously learning about new chemicals that are found. When these chemicals are heated up, they’re turned into really small particles that then have the ability to go deep into your lungs,” says Schaefbauer.

E-Cigarettes cause irritation to your nose, throat, and eyes. Nicotine can affect your mood, impulse control, and have other lasting effects.

“There are 15,500 different flavors of e-juice on the market and those flavors are highly appealing to kids. They smell good, not like combustible cigs adults remember from school.”

Young adults are the target audience when big tobacco markets sweet candy-like flavors in a variety of colors. According to the 2021 State of Tobacco Control in North Dakota report, 19.6% high school students in ND use e-cigarettes.

“They have nicotine which they found could rewire your brain. If you use nicotine before your brain is fully developed, it rewires your brains and can cause damage to your pre-frontal lobe cortex,” says Schaefbauer.

“Tobacco Free ND” was started to restrict the tobacco industry’s ability to market harmful products to kids.

“As a state and community we need to work together to prevent this next generation from being addicted to nicotine and we can do that with our media campaigns and prevent access to flavored tobacco products as well as resources for where youth and adults can go and get help with quitting,” says Schaefbauer.

For more information on ways to keep your kids tobacco free, visit here.

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