What is Vaping?
Vape devices, known as e-cigs, e-hookahs, mods, vape pens, vapes, tank systems and Juuls, contain four basic components: a cartridge or tank to hold e-liquid (or e-juice/vape sauce), a heating element known as an atomizer, a battery and a mouthpiece to inhale. A sensor detects when a person is trying to inhale. This triggers the battery to supply electricity to the atomizer. The heat given off vaporizes the e-liquid. The resulting vapor is what is inhaled. Some vape devices mimic cigarettes, cigars or pipes while others resemble USB sticks and other everyday objects like a guitar pick. Larger devices like tank systems, or “mods,” look more like a small cell phone. Some devices are disposable while others can be recharged and refilled.
Page Credit: Partnership for Drug- Free Kids
The City of Livermore Bans the Selling of Flavored Tobacco Products
In June 2019, The Livermore City Council unanimously voted to ban the sales of all flavored tobacco products and electronic delivery devices citywide and introduce a 1,000-foot buffer zone between tobacco retailers and sites like schools and libraries. This ordinance also requires all tobacco retailers in the city to obtain a Tobacco Retailers License and renew it annually.
Anti-Tobacco/ Vaping Grant Outreach
A joint grant received from the Department of Justice last year has funded a third School Resource Officer who also supports community health by enforcing the City of Livermore’s Tobacco Retail License requirements. Sergeant Paul Mayer has begun a newsletter series that contains information about tobacco and vaping. Below is the first volume in both English and Spanish.
What is Being Vaped?
Many substances can be vaped, but the most common are variations of flavored e-liquids which come in small bottles or pre-filled pods or cartridges.
- Flavored e-liquids come in thousands of flavors ranging from cotton candy and grape to king crab legs and hot dog.
- Flavored e-liquids with differing levels of nicotine. One of the more popular devices, Juul, contains 59 mg/ml of nicotine in each pod, the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes.
- Flavored e-liquids with marijuana. Marijuana can be vaped in a variety of forms including its dried leaves or using THC and/or CBD oil (THC is the psychoactive compound that creates a sense of being high).
Is Vaping Safe?
The short answer is no, vaping is not considered safe for teens and young adults, especially since their brains are still in a period of active development.
Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon so long-term studies of its impact on young adult health and behavior have yet to be conducted. The most comprehensive research to date is a report commissioned by Congress from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Released in January 2018, the report looked at exposure to nicotine and other toxic substances, dependence, harm reduction, smoking risks, cancer and more. Below are some key findings:
- Exposure to nicotine is worrisome in teens and young adults because nicotine can be highly addictive. Due to the fact that the brain is undergoing massive changes during the teen years, nicotine use may rewire the brain, making it easier to get hooked on other substances and contribute to problems with concentration, learning and impulse control.
- Most vape devices release a number of potentially toxic substances, although exposure is considerably lower than those found in regular cigarettes.
- Dependence develops when the body adapts to repeated exposure to vaping. When a person stops vaping, he or she can experience withdrawal symptoms, although likely not as intense as with conventional cigarettes.
- Vaping may be increasing risks of smoking. Teens and young adults who vape are almost four times as likely as their non-vaping peers to begin smoking cigarettes.
- Injuries and poisonings have resulted from devices exploding and direct exposure to e-liquids.
- Long-term studies are needed to evaluate the risks of cancer and respiratory illness, though there is some concern that vaping can cause coughing and wheezing and may exacerbate asthma.
Vaping Guide for Parents