Between 2017 and 2018, the increase in vaping was so drastic among adolescents and teenagers, the Surgeon General of the United States declared vaping an epidemic. In response, various government branches have started taking action toward regulating vaping and its availability to teenagers. High concentrations of nicotine, cereal-aisle flavors, easy-to-hide devices, and a growing cultural phenomenon all contribute to the vaping epidemic. Unfortunately, as a result, teenagers are becoming addicted to vaping like a hardcore drug. Little treatment exists specifically for vaping and parents are struggling to cope with their vaping addicted teenagers. According to the Surgeon General, and science, nicotine interferes with the development of the young brain. What is most concerning about vaping is the little research and understanding we have on the longterm health effects both mental and physical.
How Teens Get Their Vapes (And Their Juice): Parents
The first area we have to look at is where teens are getting the money which they can spend on their vapes and the “juice” they use to smoke. Since our teens are teens, they aren’t working full-time jobs with a consistent paycheck padding their bank accounts, if they even have one. We can understand that the money in a teens’ pocket comes from one of a few different areas:
- Extended family
- Small jobs
As parents, we have to realize that when we give our money to our teens, the transaction doesn’t end there. What our teenagers spend their money on and where our teenagers spend their money should be entirely our business- down to the last cent. If we are putting money into our teenagers’ possession, we’re responsible for what happens with each and every one of those dollars. Moreover, we have to take responsibility for where we spend our own money. If we are directly supporting our teens’ vaping habits by purchasing the mechanisms and the supplements for vaping, we are directly supporting the development of an addiction in our teen. We have to be accountable for our actions and decision-making process. Regardless of whether or not vaping may be a “healthier” alternative to smoking cigarettes or abusing other substances, vaping is proving to be addictive in and of itself. If we enable vaping in our teens, we enable addiction in our teens.
How Teens Get Their Vapes (And Their Juice): Friends, Family, And Strangers
Purchasing a vape and the varying juices for vaping is illegal for teenagers who are not at the age of eighteen or nineteen. Many teens are turning to alternative methods to obtain popular brand name vaping devices, cartridges, juice bottles, and more in order to meet their peer cultural trend, and whatever addiction to nicotine which could be taking place within them. Asking older friends, siblings, or family members to help buy something illegal for someone underage is practically a cultural rite of passage. From cigarettes to beer, teens have been looking for that one grown-up willing to indulge a little adolescent experimentation to meet their needs. Unfortunately, there is almost always that one willing adult who is outside the scope of a parent’s observation.
How Teens Get Their Vapes (And Their Juice): Online
Thanks to data-saving technologies, our teens don’t even need to sneak into our wallets and take our credit cards in order to purchase something online. If we’ve saved our card information into our computer, or an “autofill” function in our internet browser, it won’t take much for a teen to use account information attached to our money. Whether digitally or physically, whether our credit card numbers or the numbers of a card we may have assigned to our teen, all they have to do is log on and click “Buy”.
eBay: The Online Shop For Vaping
The Verge reports on the difficulties legislators are facing in creating regulations on teen vaping. In an online store like eBay, there are endless possibilities for purchasing vaping materials, under dozens of off-brand names and bootleg brand name companies. Problematically, these “fake” vapes and vaping juices which are meant to mimic popular brands like Juul, are not made the same and contain harmful chemicals. “It’s common knowledge that many of the pods sold online are fake and could contain harmful ingredients,” the article explains, “but users continue to purchase them and recommend eBay as a source for underage users.”
If you or an adolescent you know needs to get help for drug or alcohol abuse, Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center can give you the guidance that you deserve. Establishing a strong network of family and community can reinforce practices for living substance free. Call us today to start living in your recovery: 662-598-4214