Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Though many think e-cigarettes are helping to reduce the number of smokers in the US, research is showing the opposite is true when it comes to teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data showing that in just one year the number of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes has tripled.
“The development and marketing of e-cigarettes has the potential of hooking a whole new generation on nicotine,” said Garry Sigman, MD, director of the Loyola University Health System Adolescent Medicine Program and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. “Nicotine is extremely addictive causing the body to crave more and more. This leads to other health issues including lung disease, heart disease, hypertension as well as effects on the nervous system.” According to Sigman it’s important for parents to have a frank talk with their adolescents about the dangers of e-cigarettes.
“Parents need to ensure their children know the use of e-cigarettes should be viewed the same as other addictive substances. Nicotine is so addictive that with only a few inhales it can create an addiction,” said Sigman.
So much of an adolescent’s world revolves around electronics and technology and the modern aspect of this nicotine delivery system draws them to it. Sigman suggests parents talk to their teens about the dangers and work together to create rules and boundaries. Teens must understand that e-cigarettes are harmful to their health and that the cigarettes contain a poisonous substance that is combined with unsafe chemical mixtures.
“Parents cannot completely counteract the advertising and marketing campaigns targeted to youth, but they can arm themselves and their kids with knowledge. Setting rules and monitoring behavior is essential to keeping our teens safe,” Sigman said.
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###About Loyola University Health SystemLoyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.