When a person first begins to vape, it's usually a social activity. Friends and family will often get their first hit from each other, with a new vaper watching and learning from someone who has experience with e-cigarettes.
Unfortunately, once a person has become accustomed to vaping alone, the draw of the habit can become just as strong as smoking. It's not necessarily a problem for smokers who switched to vaping in an effort to wean off their addiction to cigarettes, but for teenagers, it can pose a problem.
Vaping Laws in the UK: Monitoring e-Cigarette Usage Since 2013
The accessibility of vaping, on top of the wide range of delicious flavours available, made it easier for teenagers to get into this vice. With that in mind, the UK set a rule in the 1st of October 2015, wherein retailers of electronic cigarettes can no longer sell their products to customers below 18-years-old.
Consequently, it's also illegal for adults to purchase any vape products as a gift for anyone under 18-years-old, which is known as a "proxy" purchase.
As for the laws regarding vaping in public places, while it is generally legal, keep in mind that there are establishments that have the right to set their own rules against smoking e-cigarettes.
Understanding the Effects of Nicotine on Teenagers
When it comes to nicotine addiction, teenagers have lesser tolerance than adults. As a result, nicotine has a stronger effect on them, especially when it comes to its impact on the central nervous system.
Teenagers who vape regularly will face the same withdrawal symptoms as adults, but since their bodies are still developing, both their dopamine levels and the development of their brains are still ongoing. As a result, some of the symptoms may be more pronounced, especially when it comes to the effects that nicotine has on their moods.
On that note, vaping e-liquids that contain nicotine can have the following effects on a teen's health:
- Nicotine can disrupt the proper development of an adolescent brain, which keeps on growing up until a person is 25-years-old;
- Nicotine can compromise the brain's ability to build synapses, which serve as bridges that connect brain cells to form new memories or learn skills;
- Nicotine can negatively impact the part of the brain that regulates the mood, learning capabilities, attention span, and impulse control;
- Nicotine can be a gateway to other drugs, as teens are introduced to addictive substances;
The Bottom Line: The Best Age to Educate Your Kids on the Realities of Vaping
While the prevalence of e-cigarettes has risen dramatically over the past few years, so has the awareness of the effects of nicotine addiction.
With that in mind, you shouldn't feel uncomfortable about bringing the topic up with your kids. As early as 12-years-old, kids can be aware of the dangers of nicotine and the ways it can impact their brains.
As long as you understand vaping, it's not difficult to create a friendly dialogue with your 10-12-year-old child. Simply avoid blaming them, and begin a conversation where they ask you their questions and learn to understand the realities of vaping.
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