Author: Nicholas Chadi

Vaping, JUULing and e-cigarettes: What teens and parents need to know

A guide for parents and teens on e-cigarettes“Which flavor is this? Cherry cheese cake? French vanilla? Crème brûlée?” If you are a teen in high school these days, chances are that you’ve already asked yourself this question and have inhaled at least a few breaths of some of the powerful scents coming from a JUUL or other type of e-cigarette.

The popularity of electronic cigarettes has increased exponentially in the past five years: nearly one in three seniors in high school say that they have used an e-cigarette in the past year. The FDA has recently released a statement warning about the risks of vaping and supporting strict regulations to avoid exposure to e-cigarettes for children and teens. But are e-cigarettes all that bad?

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Teens and opioids: Time for an open conversation

woman shooting heroin

National surveys have found that teens today are much less likely to use alcohol and drugs compared to their parents’ generation. In fact, the proportion of high school seniors who chose not to use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs has increased from 3 percent to 25 percent in the last thirty years. This remarkable good news is overshadowed by the growing number of teens who are daily marijuana users and the recent increase in opioid-related deaths among young people. It is important to understand the roots of this discrepancy in order to address it.

Statistics show that between 2014 and 2015, the rates of drug overdoses — mainly due to opioids — increased by 19 percent in teens, and are now double what they were in 1999, proving that young people are an important part of the equation. We know that most adults with addiction problems started using when they were teens and those with opioid use disorders are no exception. As a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist, I see this as both a challenge and an opportunity.

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