What is vaping?

Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping device. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that contains nicotine in different flavors and chemicals. 

What do vape pens look like?

Some are made to look like regular cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Some often look like USB devices and other everyday items. Larger devices do not always resemble other tobacco products.

Brands & slang terms

Brands: Eleaf, GreekVape and Kanger. Slang- cloud chasing, ride the mist, juuling, dabbing, mods, vape pens, vaporizing, vape pod and box mod

History of vaping

The idea of e-cigarettes was brought up by Joseph Robinson in 1927. However, it was in 1963 when Herbert Gilbert and his “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” made vaping popular. The Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik, made the first modern e-cig in the mid-2000s due to his father dying from lung cancer.

How vape pens work

A cartridge or reservoir or pod, which holds a liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice) containing varying amounts of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, a heating element (atomizer), a power source (usually a battery) mouthpiece that the person uses to inhale. An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that converts liquid nicotine into a vapor. But many people use the JUUL. A JUUL e-cigarette looks like a flash drive and can be charged in a laptop’s USB port. It makes less smoke than other e-cigarettes, so some teens use them to vape at home and in school. The JUUL pod’s nicotine levels are the same as in a full pack of cigarettes.

What’s the harm in a little vaping?

It causes nicotine addiction which can lead to constant nervousness and stress. It can cause cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Smoking can lead to a long list of illnesses.  Smoking can also lead to a long list of illnesses and chronic diseases. Smoking is the main cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an incurable lung disease. It results in shortness of breath, coughing, swollen airways, scar tissue and death.

Health impacts with vaping includes severe lung disease, raises your blood pressure, shortness of breath.

Brain health

Until the age 25 the brain is still growing.  Using e-cigarettes at a young age can involve nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control.  Nicotine can harm the parts of the brain that control your attention and learning.

  • Long-term (1-5 years) health concerns: 
  • Respiratory problems like asthma
  • Heart attacks
  • Reproductive issues
  • Low birth weight for babies when mothers vape during pregnancy
  • Irritation of eyes and airways
  • Poor brain development
  • Infections
  • Seizures
  • Lung disease problems like popcorn lung.
    Source: (CDC.GOV) 

Classroom Management

How to talk to your students about vaping

Knowing education and awareness are important when speaking with youth about vaping especially the different shapes and sizes. It’s important that educators are aware of punitive measure with youth vaping. Teachers should also encourage parents to communicate and interact freely with their kids so that they can report to them any incidences or detect any behavior change.

What to look for in your classroom (detect student’s vaping)

The most popular brand, Juul, looks like a USB drive.  Some e-cigarettes look like other items commonly used by youth, such as pens and other everyday items.

How to implement prevention into classrooms

Implementing and enforcing tobacco-free school policies and providing training over e-cigarettes. Studies show there was much success with providing an anonymous reporting tool encourage the students to notify the administrators when they spot any behavior change or any use of e-cigarettes and drugs in the school compound. Pikmykid Teacher’s Guide helpful in identifying vaping problems.

The main focus of having the anonymous tip line is to encourage and early intervention and prevention through proper awareness and communication. Besides helping to reduce vaping by kids in schools, the technique can also be used to report other incidences without someone worried about other knowing they told. This includes things like fights, harassment, drug use, and other things that can threaten the safety of students. 

Offering school-based tobacco prevention education programs have proven effective in reducing the onset of smoking, according to numerous independent studies.

  • Number of puffs per pod: 200 puffs per pods with JUUL pods. JUUL pods contain liquid heated by the device. JUUL pods have as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes which is the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. 
  • Compare amount of cigarettes to puffs in a pod: One pack of cigarettes is the same as using a Juul with one single Juul pod. However there isn’t an exact answer to puffs in a cigarette average. However, the average smoker finishes a cigarette with 8-14 puffs. When vaping a JUUL pod the average smoker can get up to 200 puffs per pods which is pack of cigarettes.

School Policies

Best Practices

Developing and enforcing a school policy on tobacco use and provide instruction about the short- and long-term negative physiologic and social consequences of tobacco use, social influences on tobacco use, peer norms regarding tobacco use.  Provide tobacco-use prevention education in kindergarten through 12th grade, provide program-specific training for teachers, and involve parents or families in support of school-based programs to prevent tobacco use. Source (

Strengthen current policies

Working with your local community resources with help on strengthening current policies. Produce school policies on tobacco use and how to plan school-based programs to prevent tobacco use so that they are most effective. Carefully planned school programs can be effective in reducing tobacco use among students if school and community leaders make the commitment to implement and sustain such programs. Prohibitions against tobacco use by students, all school staff, parents, and visitors on school property, in school vehicles, and at school-sponsored functions away from school property.

  • A requirement that all students receive instruction on avoiding tobacco use on school property. 
  • Resources for students and all school staff to have access to programs to help them quit using tobacco.
  • Communicating policy to students so they will know what to expect. 
  • Working with community partners to get assistance in strengthening current school policies.   

Quitting resources for students 

The Truth Initiative has expanded its quit-smoking resources to include the first-of-its-kind e-cigarette quit program to address the significant rise in youth vaping. This innovative and free text message program was created with input from teens, college students and young adults who have attempted to, or successfully quit, e-cigarettes. The program is tailored by age group to give appropriate recommendations about quitting and also serves as a resource for parents looking to help their children who now vape. (Text QUIT to 202- 804-9884) • Messages tailored by age group (recommendations for teens, young adults and parents. 

Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline Target audience is anyone at least 13 years old. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (1-800-QUIT NOW or register online) is a free service available 24/7. The Helpline provides free text and email support, phone and web coaching, free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges and more for registered participants. The specific options available to each individual may vary based on insurance coverage, but free help is available for all Oklahomans.

Smoke free Teen Cessation Resources Target audience: Smoke free Teen is part of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Initiative. The goal of Smoke free Teen is to reduce the number of youth who use tobacco. Smoke free Teen helps anyone at least 13 years old (with a supported mobile phone carrier in the United States) stop using tobacco by providing information grounded in scientific evidence and offering free tools that meet teens where they are—on their mobile phones.

Smoke free Teen aims to reduce teen tobacco use through a text messaging program and the quit START app help teens become smoke free by providing strategies for tackling cravings, bad moods, and other situations.

What is addiction?

Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence.

Addiction in kids (1-6 grades)

Every day about 1,600 kids under 18 try smoking for the first time. Though very little data about smoking is regularly collected for kids under 12, the peak years for first trying to smoke appear to be in the sixth and seventh grades (or between the ages of 11 and 13), with a considerable number starting even earlier.

Addiction in teens (7+ grades)

According to a 2015 national survey, nearly half (45.4%) of current high school smokers had tried quitting. Because of the addictive power of nicotine, however, about three out of four teen smokers end up smoking into adulthood, even if they intend to quit after a few years.