The latest drug epidemic our youth are experiencing, vaping harmful chemicals and high levels of nicotine

person vaping

Watch video Listen to 4-H Teen Advocate, Daisy Burns and a brief comment from Dr. Rick Alleva on Extension's monthly Positive Parenting segment with Mike Cherry on WMUR 

Vaping & Juuling
So what is vaping, and why is it something parents should know about? 

Vaping refers to inhaling and exhaling vapor, typically from an e-cigarette or similar device. It is definitely something parents should educate themselves on because unlike some other concerning habits teens may pick up, vaping has only become popular recently. This means parents are not likely to know about the types of vaping and what the signs are that their teen is doing it. Parents may not even know what a vape looks like or what the effects of vaping are. And how about Juuling, is that the same thing, or something different?

Juuling is a type of vaping but in a lot of ways it is much more concerning. Juul pods, the liquid that is used in Juuls always has nicotine. Even though it says this on the packaging not all teens read/know that. Another main concern is that Juul pods are not FDA approved which means they could have a variety or harmful chemicals including carcinogens. Juuling hasn’t been around long enough to know all of the possible long term health affects it could have as well.

How much of a problem do you think vaping/juuling is among high school students?

From my personal experience I have friends and classmates from all different backgrounds and socioeconomic standards and more of them than not Juul frequently or have as least tried it. Based on that and also statistics like ⅓ of teens have tried it, I would definitely say it is a big problem, or epidemic as the FDA calls it.

What do you feel parents should and can do? prevent, to educate, to intervene/get help.

Parents should definitely have a conversation with their teen asking what their teen knows about vaping and juuling and the dangers of nicotine addictions. I think it is important that parents are open to listening to their teen and they don’t come off as judgmental or intimidating. Parents should keep in mind that they can’t necessarily relate to what their teen is dealing with considering that vaping is such a recent concern. Parents also could try to provide other ways for teens to deal with stress considering that many of the teens I know say they juul most when they are stressed or anxious. Some things that help me and other teens I know deal with stress are exercising, cuddling with a pet, journaling and listening to music. Maybe ask your teen what positive things help them when they are stressed and see if that is something that you can help provide or encourage. This is something that parents of young children can do as well because helping your child find healthy coping mechanisms for stress will help them at any age. Also parents developing a solid relationship with their children will definitely make conversations easier when they are older.

For more information on drug abuse & misuse prevention, and how to talk with your kids about vaping, see Partnership for Drug-Free Kids:


Former Youth & Family Resiliency Field Specialist
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824