Vaping —not just flavored water

What you need to know to protect yourself, children and the community

It might taste like cotton candy, but its effects are anything but sweet.

“Plumas County schools, health officials and concerned parents and citizens are working to get the word out that trendy nicotine vaporizing has nothing to do with puffing on harmless water vapor and everything to do with exposure to highly addictive chemicals, known carcinogens and heavy metals that pose serious health risks.

“Think nickel, benzene, cadmium and formaldehyde for starters. They’re most worried because the region is experiencing a surge in incidents of underage students vaping — using electronic cigarettes — as a way to relax, cope with stress and be part of the in, cool crowd at junior-senior high schools. One elementary school recently caught students using vape pens with nicotine cartridges and nobody is taking it lightly.”

Thus begins the highly informative article penned by Staff Writer Roni Java in this week’s newspaper featured on the first page of the regional section. Java interviewed students, parents, teachers, administrators, health officials and more to write this important story. As one parent said: “Our biggest concern is that you don’t know it’s going on. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it. But it’s readily available and it’s happening everywhere. There’s no stigma attached to it. They’ve heard it’s only water vapor they’re breathing in.”

In fact, vaping is highly addictive and harmful to one’s health. One vape cartridge typically contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes and puffing on an ENDS pen or pipe can easily exhaust a cartridge or more per day. There are dangers from breathing in the vapors, but also those associated with oil leaking onto the skin. Teachers are reporting students coming to class with a host of health issues including bad headaches and nosebleeds.

Particularly alarming is that for children under 5, even touching a small amount of nicotine oil from a pen or pod could be fatal. Since many vaping products are housed in what seem to be everyday items, devices could easily and accidentally fall into the wrong hands.

We suggest that our readers take the time to read this comprehensive article. It is full of valuable information that might prevent a young person from forming an addictive, harmful habit or even save an innocent child who happens upon the substance.

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