Vaping Awareness

Understanding Youth Vaping 

What is Vaping?

Vaping” is a term used to describe the act of using an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) to inhale vaporized aerosol products called e-juice or e-liquid. ENDS include a wide variety of products that look like look like cigarettes, pens and thumb drives. Vapes are sold in vape shops, gas stations, convenience stores and online in the form of e-cigarettes, e-hookah pens, mods and tank systems.

How does it work?

A cartridge is filled with e-juice or e-liquid and placed into the battery operated device. Pressing the button on the device heats the e-liquid which forms an aerosol vapor. The aerosol is then inhaled. Devices can also be modified to vape marijuana in the form of wax, juice and oil.

Is it against the law?

In order to address the rise in usage of e-cigarette and vape products among the community’s youth aged population, it is now Michigan state law that vaping is prohibited to anyone under the age of 21. 

Risk Factors

  • Weakened immune system
  • Damage to gums and mouth
  • Respiratory problems, shortness of breath
  • Second hand vapor exposure
  • Nicotine addiction, higher risk for an adolescent brain
  • High blood pressure, irregular heart beat
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Agitation, insomnia
  • By-products when heated can include ethylene glycol (anti-freeze); benzen (car exhaust); and heavy metals such as tin, zinc and cancer causing agents called carcinogens



What can you do?

Have the conversation

Children begin experimenting with vaping, tobacco, alcohol and Marijuana at young ages. It is important to start the conversation early and continue through the teen years. Communicate your values and messages clearly. Share your concern for their health and safety.

Have a clear message

Make sure your teen knows your expectations. Substance use is not a rite of passage, and not all kids experiment with drugs and alcohol. Teens who use substances have more problems with school, the law, their health and forming healthy relationships. Let them know there are consequences to substance use – both in terms of their health and for breaking your expectations.

Set a good example

Be a role model for healthy habits. If you use tobacco, it is never too late to quit. 

Use teachable moments and normalize the discussion

Have a discussion when you see or hear a vaping advertisement, when there is a story about substance abuse in the news or while driving in the car

Recognize vape devices and products

Research information about e-cigarettes and vaping on the surgeon general website. Know what these devices look like and understand how they work. This is an ever-changing industry – understand what is appealing and how vaping impacts current teens.


Parents often underestimate the seriousness of drug use. Seek out a professional and ask for help. Reach out to a guidance counselor or call a nearby counseling center to access prevention education and intervention services for an evaluation. Your child’s future depends on it. Know The Risks – Take Action 


In partnership with the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition, United Way of Monroe County

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  Content courtesy of the Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities 

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