MT. PLEASANT, MI – Over the past several months the Mt. Pleasant Police Department has been closely monitoring the use and accessibility of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), e-juice (vaping liquids) and other nicotine products among middle and high school students. After conducting compliance checks at several tobacco retailers within the City of Mt. Pleasant, three local businesses were cited for Selling Tobacco Products to a Minor (anyone under the age of 18.)
What are e-cigarettes/vape pens?
E-cigarettes or vape pens, have become very popular among middle and high school aged students. They are sold in many different shapes and sizes and resemble a thumb drive, cell phone battery charger or make-up containers, which makes it difficult for parents to identify.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes e-cigarettes as: A product which allows a user to inhale aerosol containing nicotine and other substances, and at times, marihuana. E-cigarettes are composed of a rechargeable, battery-operated heat element, a cartridge that contains nicotine, and other flavored chemicals (e-juice/vape juice), and an atomizer. When heated, the device converts the contents of the cartridge into an aerosol which is often flavored. The fruity and candy-flavored vape juice is most popular among adolescents.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a 78 percent increase in vaping by high school students, with 3.6 million high school and middle school students now using e-cigarettes.
Vaping misconceptions and health warnings
There are misconceptions that vaping is not dangerous or addictive. The Surgeon General has reported that the use of vape pens, which are nicotine products, do pose a danger.
In youth, vaping can disrupt the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning and susceptibility to addiction. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products can prime young brains for addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
Nicotine exposure during pregnancy can affect fetal and postnatal development as well as contribute to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Nicotine poisoning and symptoms
Ingestion of e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine can cause acute toxicity and possible death if the contents of the refill cartridges or bottles are consumed.
One conventional cigarette contains approximately 1 mg of nicotine. Those smoking conventional cigarettes only absorb about 1/10th of the 1 mg of nicotine. Some manufacturers are producing e-juice/vaping juice with 30-40 + mg of nicotine in a cartridge, which is considered lethal to adults. Nicotine poisoning tends to be more critical in children and adults who are first time users.
Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include nausea, vomiting, increased blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, dehydration, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, dizziness, headache, gas, anxiety, and hearing and vision changes. Nausea and vomiting are the most notable symptoms in youth.
For a summary of common vaping myths and FAQ’s visit: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/AboutCTP/UCM624891.pdf
Electronic Cigarettes, E-Cigs, Vape Pens
E-Juice, Vape Juice
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