Illinois Communities Respond to Teen Vaping Culture
The Illinois House of Representatives recently passed a new bill to increase the tobacco sale age from 18 to 21 years of age. This measure proceeds to the Senate for further review. Arlington Heights joins 32 communities within the state that prohibit tobacco sales to those under 21. Sadly, Illinois is only one out of 10 states that have decided to pass new legislation. In most states, you need to be 18 years of age to buy tobacco and related products which include e-cigarette products.
E-cigarettes have been gaining popularity with teenagers over the last few years. Vaping products were initially introduced to help adults kick the smoking habit, but teenagers have jumped on the bandwagon. Many think that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, but not only is a high level of nicotine inside the cartridge element, there could be other harmful ingredients like nickel, tin, lead, and formaldehyde. Some devices may look similar to cigarettes, but others resemble USB drives. Because they are so small and sleek looking, kids can even use them in school classrooms! The vapor leaves less of a trail, and smells are harder to detect, which makes it difficult for school officials to impose the rules because they don't see it happening.
Keeping the lines of communication open with teenagers is essential. If you pass a store that sells these items or if there is an article online or in a magazine, use this opportunity to speak with your kids about it! They need to be aware that these products are not safe and can cause injury, seizures, disease and addiction issues.
For more on this and the parental challenges that come with teen vaping, check out this article.