Riley Farrell started vaping when he was only 13 – attracted to the cool vibe, status and youth-oriented marketing.
"On Instagram, you see dudes blowing O & # 39; s and doing all these tricks and having huge clouds, and the kids come to school, and they will do it," he says, and is in the hallway of his high school, West Kildonan Collegiate .
"[The packages] have rubber carrier here that shows candy and fancy writing and the kind of graffiti style … these are things that need to be visually striking so when children look at it, they think & # 39; I want it & # 39; "
Three years later, Farrell admits to being addicted.
But as he learns more about the health risk, he tries to break the habit – and he shares that message with other teenagers who are weapons.
"I Want other kids to see how bad it is and why we shouldn't. Even if you're on it, get rid of it. And if you're not on it, don't start, "he says.
Farrell recently made a presentation for a class 10 civic leadership class and members of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) group at his high school.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, he explained how the various forms of e-cigarettes work and the differences between nicotine salts and freebase nicotine in e-juice.
Salt nicotine e-fluids allow nicotine to be vapped in higher strengths with a smoother neck feel.
Freebase nicotine produces a hard "ostrich hit" and manufacturers larger "clouds" of steam.
You use different e-cigarettes depending on the type of e-juice you smoke.
"A little less known fact with the juices when you burn freebase nicotine knows too high of a wattage to where it burns and does not evaporate, the chemical reaction can actually create a form of formaldehyde that you inhale and that is really bad for you. , "said Farrell.
He Also described what he understands about the health risk of smoking with e-cigarettes, with the warning that this is still a focus of research.
"When you inhale the nicotine in your lungs, it actually narrows your blood vessels, and when they are snow-covered, they can't relax, and when you vape every day when you hold them at the constricting speed, it's kind of it. puts you more at risk of higher blood pressure. When you have what is constantly happening in your body, it can cause heart damage. "
According to the American Lung Association, the chemicals found in e-juice, especially the flavored variety, can also cause so-called "popcorn lung". It is a relatively rare condition that causes inflammation of the lung tissues, causing difficulty in breathing.
"You get that shortness of breath and it breaks with your lungs. It's not in every single juice, but it's a risk, "says Farrell to the class.
Then there are the effects of nicotine.
"You're chilling in your companion's cellar and you're all vaping and a guy gets his head rocked and can't beat anymore because he's about to pass." It's "nicking out." … If I hit it more, I'll puke. "
Members of this SWAT group have been doing anti-smoking lectures in middle schools for years – but know that they need to update their presentation.
"We recognize that vaping is probably a segment we should include. But what should we say? What is the message we want to get to the kids?" asks Tammy Harder, Grade 10 civic leadership teacher and SWAT facilitator.
It is timely and necessary.
Health experts describe teenage waxing as the new "epidemic" in Canada and the United States
New issues published by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 4.9 million middle and high school students currently use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
It is rising from 3.6 million in 2017 – driven by an increase in e-cigarette use.
The report found more than 1 in 4 (27 per cent) high school students, and approx. 1 out of 14 (7.2 per cent) Middle school students currently use tobacco products, and e-cigarettes are the most common.
JUUL is now the best-selling e-cigarette in the United States, although it has only been for sale in Canada for just over a year. It is shaped like a USB flash drive and is easy to hide so that they are used in school bathrooms and classrooms.
JUUL uses interchangeable or refillable bellows with two strength options, three and five percent; The US Surgeon General says a full cartridge can contain as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes. They come in flavors such as tobacco, fruit, mint, mango, cream and cucumber.
Some Canadian research suggests that there has also been a dramatic increase in teenage weapon rates on this side of the border as well.
ONE recent study Also found weapons also increases the chance that young people will try cigarettes.
The Federal Republic of Tobacco and the Vaping Products Act already prohibit the sale of weapons products to those under the age of 18, but Health Canada looks at strengthening the rules, such as limiting the visibility of ads to young people.
It was also released a video targeting young people last week.
Fellow student Sydney Tuck hopes that if teens hear this message from their peers, they can only hear.
"Smoking began to diminish with children who were really good. But vaping is great now," said Tuck, SWAT member. "I know if I go to middle school, I want to see children in class 7 with a vape."
Meanwhile, Farrell says that parents should also be educated about the dangers and what to take care of.
"If your child owns an iPhone and there is a Samsung charger in his room, what does he use it for?" Farrell says.
"If you go into your son's room and it doesn't just smell like cologne or something it smells like fruity stone or like flowers in there, you will of course be like," Hey, it's not his cologne. ""
Also, teenagers are not huddled around doorways, smoking outside. They often watch together in cars with the windows up, says Farrell.
E-cigarettes are classified as tobacco products, which means that weapons are prohibited in public buildings. It is forbidden to sell it to a person under the age of 18, even if it does not have nicotine.
It does not stop older siblings and even parents from delivering minors – contributing to what may be a new generation of nicotine addicts.