Vaping – The Latest Teen Trends

E-cigarettes, or vaporizer pens, now have a thriving, growing and vulnerable new market here in Broward County and greater South Florida. Teens looking to experiment with drugs are increasingly using these battery-operated devices, often touted as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, to vape synthetic substances like flakka (an amphetamine-like drug similar to bath salts) and various forms of “legal weed” (such as K2 and Spice). And that has local law enforcement and health officials worried. Inhaling liquid nicotine is one thing, but vaping other less familiar and potentially more dangerous substances is another, they say. And parents of teens — especially — need to be on the alert.

Teen Vaping Abuse — 4 Things Every Parent Needs to Know

On that note, here’s what every parent needs to know about the dangers of this latest trend:

  • Inhaling from a vaporizer enhances a drug user’s high and can amplify a drug’s side effects. That’s because “it delivers a far more potent form of whatever drug is being used,” according to substance abuse expert Dr. James Hall in a recent interview with WSVN-TV. Dr. Hall is an epidemiologist and co-directs the Center for Applied Research on Substance Abuse and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University, just down the road (Miami).
  • The chemicals in synthetic drugs are dangerous and potentially fatal in cases of overdose.So far this year, in Broward County alone, 33 people have died from synthetic drug overdoses. And since January, dozens and dozens of medical emergencies related to Spice and other forms of “legal weed” have turned up at hospitals across the state of Florida. Only just a few years ago, synthetic marijuana, euphemistically termed “herbal incense,” became an instant hit in South Florida. But the reality is that “these products are chemicals that are sprayed onto plant material,” in Dr. Hall’s words to WSVN-TV.
  • Vaping synthetic drugs is more discreet than other forms of drug abuse. Because e-cigarettes can resemble everyday ballpoint pens or USB memory sticks, they are easy to hide. As Lt. Ozzy Tianga of our local Broward County Sheriff’s Office recently told CNN, these pen vaporizers can easily become a checked-out teen’s escape in class. If calculus or a discussion of Shakespeare’s Macbeth proves thoroughly uninteresting, drug-using teens can reach for their “ballpoint pen” without raising any eyebrows.

In addition, e-cigarettes are odorless, making it nearly impossible to determine the drug in use (which is an urgent necessity in cases of overdose). Here is Lt. Tianga again, in that same interview with CNN, talking about a phenomenon he observes among teens who abuse e-cigarettes: “They sit in the back of the [class]room, and they think it’s funny…. They are vaping, and what they are vaping — again — I cannot determine. From the smell I cannot determine. I actually have to get the pen out of their hand and there are very few field test kits that will tell you exactly what they are vaping.”

  • E-cigarettes and pen vaporizers are easy to acquire for underage users. So are flakka and legal weed. While it may be true that Miami-Dade and Broward counties have ordinances making it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to those under 18, these regulations do little to prevent teens from buying the devices online. A bewildering online selection of vaping and legal weed paraphernalia makes it easy for anyone, regardless of age, to order their own and have them conveniently delivered, no questions asked. In just one year’s time, for example, the number of teens using e-cigarettes has more than tripled, according to a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Signs of Vaping Abuse and What Parents Can Do

Parents can be on the alert for signs of vaping abuse. Specifically, parents can:

  • Watch for physiological symptoms and side effects that may indicate their teen has a vaping abuse problem. These can include dry mouth syndrome, nosebleeds and strange, erratic and even violent behavior.
  • Familiarize themselves with what e-cigarettes look like and how the devices work, so that they are able to identify them in the hands of their teens. E-cigarettes consist of: a cartridge, which holds a liquid solution (be it nicotine or something else); a heating device (vaporizer); and a power source (usually a battery). Typically, puffing an e-cigarette activates the vaporizer, which allows a user to inhale the resulting aerosol or vapor.

Parents can refer to the brochure about how to talk to your teen about E-cigarettes.

电子烟 – 家长需要知道最新的青少年潮流

电子烟与其相关产品目前在美国市场蓬勃发展,一些对烟药品充满好奇心的青少年都选择尝试“看起来稍微健康”的电子烟来使用像是“Flakka”(夫拉卡 – 一种兴奋剂)和大麻的合成物质。吸入液状尼古丁是一回事,电子烟油内可能还含有危险物质。这样的潮流不仅引起执法单位和卫生单位的担心,青少年的家长也需要特别注意。

关于滥用电子烟 – 4个家长需要知道的注意事项

  • 通过电子烟仪器吸入毒品会提高使用者的欣快感并可能放大药物的副作用;
  • 合成药物中的化学物质很容易因过量而导致致命 – 急诊室近年来接到越来越多的毒品过量病人;
  • 比起其他毒品,电子烟比较不容易被察觉 – 电子烟可以很容易地被安装在笔或USB上,很容易就能被隐藏起来。除此之外,电子烟没有什么味道,让他人更没有办法察觉及分辨使用了什么毒品;
  • 青少年很容易就能取得电子烟与其相关产品 – 尽管法律规定18岁以下未成年人禁止购买电子烟及相关产品,但网购的便利性让青少年很容易就能取得电子烟和毒品。


  • 注意生理症状以及其他使用电子烟所引起的副作用。症状包括口干综合征、流鼻血以及异乎寻常、不稳定、甚至暴力的行为。
  • 熟悉电子烟的外观和运作方式 能够帮助家长更容易察觉。电子香烟一般会有:容纳电子油的容器;加热器;和电源。一般电子烟是通过吹气来启动喷雾器,让使用者能够吸入喷雾器产生的烟雾。


  • 在开始沟通之前:
    • 先了解电子烟的相关信息
    • 要有耐心并准备好倾听。尽量减少批评,并以沟通的方式慢慢地去开导孩子。
    • 以身作则。如果您也吸烟的话,现在戒掉还不算太晚。
  • 如何开启这个话题
    • 对的时机很重要,孩子比较容易听得进自然讨论中的建议。比起“我们需要好好聊聊”,家长可以换一种方式来开启话题。比方说,当看到有其他人使用电子烟时,在影片中看到有人使用电子烟,经过电子烟商店或看到电子烟广告时,询问孩子对电子烟的看法等。
  • 对于孩子的提问,家长该如何回答?孩子可能会反过来问家长一些问题,家长可以参考以下答案
    • 为什么你不让我使用电子烟?
      • 科学研究表示电子烟油含有可能让人上瘾的物质,且使用电子烟对身体有害
      • 你的大脑还在成长还不成熟,这个时候如果对尼古丁上瘾会较难戒掉。吸入尼古丁将对你的记忆和专注力产生影响。
      • 电子烟油内的化学物质对人体有害。当使用电子烟时,人们同时吸入对肺有害的微粒子。
      • 使用电子烟呼出的二手烟内含有有害的化学成分。
    • 尼古丁哪里不好?
      • 人类的大脑一直在成长直到25岁。研究显示尼古丁容易让人上瘾且对大脑的发育有害。
      • 尤其是对青少年,尼古丁将影响人的专注能力,学习能力,且容易使人冲动。
      • 因为尼古丁的影响,人更容易对其他毒品上瘾。
      • “说这些并不是想吓你(指孩子),让你知道这些知识都是因为你的健康和安全对我(指家长)来说很重要。”
    • 电子烟不是比香烟更无害吗?
      • 因为你的大脑还在发育中,抽任何烟草(包括电子烟)对你来说都有害。
      • 曾有新闻报道电子烟的电池爆炸(电子烟需要电池作为电源)。
    • 我以为电子烟里只有水和香精(味道)。
      • 我也是那么以为的。但许多电子烟油里都含有尼古丁,甚至有其他有害的化学成分。
      • 我们可以一起上卫生局的网站看看(
    • 你也吸烟,为什么我就不行?
      • 如果能够重新来过,我会选择不吸烟。我现在才知道吸烟的人更容易生病甚至危害到生命。所以我戒掉了。
      • 戒烟是很难的,而我不希望你也经历那样的过程。最好的办法就是一开始就选择不吸烟。