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Parent to parent e-cigarette, Juul
and nicotine addiction warnings

The below warnings from mothers and fathers of vaping and juuling children and teens are disturbing and need sharing far and wide.

February 16, 2019   John R. Polito

What are the possible consequences of your son or daughter inhaling nicotine from an e-cigarette or Juul? During the past week, the Food and Drug Administration released additional comments received as it considered ways to help addicted students quit vaping. They included the following comments from parents.

Parent to Parent E-cigarette Warnings

"PLEASE HELP! The vaping/e-cigarette use among teens in our community is increasing daily and our kids are getting addicted to nicotine. I have 2 students in high school, in Livermore, CA., a suburb of San Francisco Bay Area. My 16 year old son vapes and it is heartbreaking." Submitted by P.C.

Photo of a Juul cartridge or pod"I started finding Juul cartridges in my teenagers pant pockets. At first I had no idea of what it was. I thought a computer gadget of some sort. Then I found them in back pack pockets. Did some research and learned what it was. Nicotine. By this time my teenage son had lost weight, was having a hard time keeping up with his track and field team training and had a change in appetite. Mango and cucumber flavors were his favorite. He purchased them at the corner delis and bodegas. He locked himself in the bathroom to Juul and Juuled at night and early in the morning when he thought we where not looking. I found so many pods even after serious conversations and repercussions for my son. I attended school talks on Juuling. But I realized now my son is addicted. Its no longer a do not try conversation… its a how can I help you quit emergency. The accessibility, the marketing, and the cool gadgety look with flavoring is criminal to teenagers!" Submitted by C.

"My daughter started vaping in sixth grade. This is ridiculous! She is totally turned off by cigarette smoking, but this is so cool among her friends and she just doesnt appreciate the addictiveness or the danger. Could you please, please do something about this?! This is a health crisis unfolding before our eyes." Submitted by M.S.

"My son, now 17 years old has been addicted to e-cigarettes for what I suspect to be two years. I am a registered nurse and have always taught him the dangers of nicotine in its addictive properties. However, when I actually found the Vape paraphernalia in his backpack and confronted him he insisted that it was just flavored juice. He insisted that there was no nicotine in this product until I pointed out that one little Vape pod was equal to smoking five packs of cigarettes. This is actually printed on the warning label. Unfortunately, teens do not read warning labels. Although I have educated him he is already addicted to the nicotine product." Submitted by Anonymous

"My name is A.H. and our son is a vape addict. Vaping has ruined who he is and changed his personality. His first vape was a JUUL. He has tried to stop many times but when he hasn't vaped he gets violet and destructive." Submitted by A.H.

"My son, and many of his NJ high school friends, are addicted to Juuling. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and due to social media and the ‘it’ factor of Juul, this has become a viral epidemic. I don't have a comment on drug therapies, but the furtherance of this needs to be stopped in it's tracks – immediately." Submitted by Anonymous

"Our 16 year old teen son is addicted to nicotine thanks to JUUL vaping. It has also caused a spiral of his grades and led to trying other substances. The accessibility of VAPEs to kids is a huge problem." Submitted by A.S.

"My 13 year old daughter is in 8th grade. Unfortunately she gave in to peer pressure and tried a “Juul” in October of 2018. We found out she had a device and some “pods” that were given to her by a “friends older sibling”. We discarded the device and pods, explained at length the dangers of using this device etc. Just a few weeks later she was caught in the bathroom at school “vaping” and was suspended from school. My husband and I are at a loss as to what to do as these substances are so available and she reports that “everyone is doing it” “It’s everywhere”. I am a nurse and have talked with her many times about the dangers – many unknown as we do not currently know the long term cognitive effects not to mention the damage on the lungs. She said the Juul makes her ‘not care about things’." Submitted by R.R.

"My 19 year old son started juuling his sophomore year in HS. As varsity athlete he soon realized how it was impacting his success on the court but he could not stop. He is now in college and using every cent he makes on juul pods and we fear he is now a nicotine addict for life." Submitted by Anonymous

"My son is 19. He became addicted to vaping as a junior in high school. This happened without my knowledge while spending time with a friend who purchased their first 'kit' via the internet. The fruit-flavored vape juice and nicotine kept him coming back for more. Now he's been addicted for 4 years with no end in sight. As his mother, seeing him addicted like this tears me apart. He has asthma and I fear what vaping is doing to someone like him." Submitted by R.C.

"All I have to say is, if you had a child (in my case she is 11 years old) start using e-cigarettes (in my case she chose Juul) you would be beyond words as I am. She became quickly addicted and also tried other things as a means to get high. After all its cool right? You have no idea what addiction to nicotine can do to a child or do you? But they'll even steal to get money to buy." Submitted by L.

Invitation to Add Your Comments

If your child is hooked and you'd like to add your voice and warning to this article, email it to WhyQuit. Please do not include any personal information that you do not wish to share with the world.

03/09/19 - "I just discovered an unbelievable amount of cartridges in my daughter’s nightstand and under her mattress. Her dad and I have been so worried about her weight! We are having her evaluated for an eating disorder because she has dropped weight in the last 6 months. She is 5’4” and in July weighed 125 and now she is only 112. She is moody, irritable, her grades have dropped and she has been lying to us the whole time. She said she tried Juuling once and thinks it’s really bad for you. I am devastated and so worried. We also found packets of cannibus oil. I found an actual Juul right out on her desk. There were cartridges in her backpack. This began with dating a boy in June and now here we are in March. Please do not use my name. She is away on a school trip and comes home Monday and her dad and I will confront her then. Thank you for your site." Submitted by Anonymous

Student Peer to Peer Message Invitation

Rachel's peer to peer smoking prevention messageWould your son or daughter like to create and share a peer to peer e-cig dependency prevention message? Take a look at these peer to peer smoking messages. With each, I handed the student a board and marker after asking them one question. Imagine that you were standing on a stage in front of 500 students who had never smoked a cigarette in their life. What's the one thing you'd want to tell them?

Joel has suggested that a similar collection of peer to peer vaping prevention messages could prove valuable in helping educate students as to vaping's immediate consequences. If your son or daughter wishes to help, I'd recommend them taping together two pieces of paper and, using a magic marker, writing their first name upon it, their age, how old they were when they started vaping, the message they'd like to share, and what city, state or country they're from.

Then, have mom or dad take a high resolution photo of them holding their sign. E-mail it to us at WhyQuit. If your son or daughter is under age 18, be sure to include in the email your consent, allowing the photo to be used worldwide for any and all youth e-cigarette dependency prevention purposes.

Transitioning from Vaping to Smoking

Although WhyQuit doesn't yet have an account of teen vaping turning into smoking, what follows is a 03/25/19 Turkeyville post by Jessica, a new quitter, that's shared with permission.

"My mother was a smoker for 20 years and she died of lung cancer when I was 17. My whole family pretty much fell apart after that. Smoking was never even on my radar as an option. I met my husband over 10 years ago and he is a smoker. A few years back he bought a vape and I got addicted to nicotine because I didn’t see it as the same as smoking cigarettes and I liked the nicotine 'rush.'"

"I quit when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2016. Unfortunately I relapsed after she was born," Jessica wrote. "I tried to quit the vape again and then I did something disgusting - without the vape there I turned to the cigarettes my husband left in the garage. This started on January of 2018 and I have been smoking them ever since. Hating myself every day and feeling like an absolute idiot, I know you’re not supposed to beat yourself up but this is a habit teenagers start! How come I took it up at age 29, with the family history that I have?! Mom must be rolling over in her grave."

Additional WhyQuit resources

Joel Spitzer is WhyQuit's education director. Joel's newest video page is entitled "Kids and vaping: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." The page also shares links other vaping pages by Joel, including How you can help prevent kids from vaping and How to help kids stop vaping.

Kids and vaping: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

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Page created 02/16/19 and last updated 03/26/19 by John R. Polito