Resources for Parents: Vaping, E-Cigs

That USB Stick might be an E-Cigarette - information for parents and teachers from the CDC

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Updated Feb. 3, 2020

Vaping and the use of e-cigarettes is a growing trend across the U.S., and some of our high school students heard more about it from Sheriff Janis Mangum of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office on April 15, 2019, shortly before this page was originally posted on the Jackson County School System website.

Learning that one JUUL pod or cartridge delivers the same addictive nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes was startling to some of the students (and even some of the adults) who heard the presentation. 

And while many believe vaping to be safer than smoking tobacco, “safer” still isn’t safe, especially for the developing brains and lungs of youngsters and young adults, health experts say.

Much is still unknown about the long-term effects of vaping — e-cigarettes only came under the control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016 — but here’s a frightening fact: The same chemical that causes “popcorn lung” is used to flavor e-cigarettes. According to the American Lung Association, not enough is known about the long-term effects of even small amounts of diacetyl, which causes permanent, irreversible damage to the lungs’ smallest airways.

We are going to be looking for opportunities to share more information about this disturbing trend. We hope they will provide a conversation-starter for families.

Click here for quick facts from the CDC — the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Talk with Teens — a Tip Sheet for Parents is also available from the CDC — Topics include: Before the talk; Start the conversation; Answer the questions; Keep the conversation going.

Click here to see the NBC News video Sheriff Mangum shared with the students. More resources are listed below.

Click here for the link provided in the flyer posted here — Know the Facts: E-Cigarettes & Young People.

Click here for WSB-TV’s report on the vaping issues being dealt with by officials in Pickens County.


February 3, 2020 – National Institute on Drug Abuse – DrugFacts: Vaping Devices (Electronic Cigarettes) – Overview, answers to common questions, and links to more resources (revised January 2020)

November 28, 2019 – Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Buford twins inspire mom to challenge vaping, and lawmakers listen

November 8, 2019 – The New York Times – Vaping Illnesses Are Linked to Vitamin E Acetate, C.D.C. Says

November 8, 2019 – Athens Banner-Herald/Opinion – What Others Say: Vaping is costly, so make it expensive

October 10, 2019 – Athens Banner-Herald – Covert vaping: Camouflaged vaping devices are hoodwinking parents and schools

September 25, 2019 – 11Alive – Police seize more than 2,000 fake THC vape cartridges in Athens

September 25, 2019 – Atlanta Journal-Constitution – First death linked to mysterious vaping illness confirmed in Georgia

September 17, 2019 – Athens Banner-Herald – Vape maker overhauls packaging to counter fakes

September 2, 2019 – FOX NEWS: CDC warns against vaping after mysterious spike in lung illnesses.

August 22, 2019 – CBS NEWS: E-cigarettes affect a person’s blood vessels after just one use, study finds – Non-nicotine pods were used in a study on young adults. From the article: “The authors say more research is needed on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes. But the short-term harm can be hard to ignore: a growing number of people have been hospitalized for lung damage after vaping. The CDC says 153 possible cases have been reported in16 states since the end of June. In one of those cases, a previously healthy 17-year-old spent 10 days on a ventilator. An 18-year-old suffered a lung collapse.”

August 16, 2019 – The Washington Post: Mystery lung illness linked to vaping; health officials investigating nearly 100 possible cases 

August 16, 2019 – The Washington Post – Mystery lung illness linked to vaping; health officials investigating nearly 100 possible cases

August 13, 2019 – The New York Times –‘Juul-alikes’ are filling shelves with sweet, teen-friendly nicotine flavors

August 8, 2019 – Fox News – FDA investigates more than 120 cases of people having seizures after vaping


GA Department of Public Health

School E-Cigarettes Toolkit – 2-page PDF with links to general information on e-cigarettes and nicotine, student education resources, resources for those who want to quit.

E-Cigarette Fact Sheet – 2-page PDF with general information and facts about e-cigarettes


FDA WEBSITE — part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (below)


Youth Tobacco Use: Results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey

FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan – MAY 13 presentation available live online!

FDA News Release (November 2018): Results from 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey show dramatic increase in e-cigarette use among youth over past year
Sharp rise in e-cigarette use results in uptick in overall tobacco product use; prompts new, forceful steps by FDA to firmly confront and reverse youth epidemic.

2018 NYTS Data: A Startling Rise in Youth E-cigarette Use

** Seizures Reported Following E-Cigarette Use, Particularly in Youth and Young Adults – APRIL 3, 2019 **

    • Epidemic-level rise in youth e-cig use
    • Initiation to, addition to, nicotine by never-smokers raises public health concerns
    • Even for adults, e-cigs are not risk-free; concerns about changes to airways that could be a precursor to cancer
    • POTENTIAL EMERGING SAFETY ISSUE: seizures, especially among youth and young adults
    • Small number of cases have been reported voluntarily, not enough detail to establish clear pattern or cause
    • Scientific investigation continues; report unexpected health or product issues through FDA Safety Reporting Portal

FDA’s The Real Cost Instagram Account

FDA’s The Real Cost YouTube Account


HHS WEBSITE (FDA — above — is part of the larger HHS Department) takes you to – interactive games, quizzes, memes, gifs, help links, and more: “We’re not here to tell you what to do. ‘The Real Cost’ gives you what you need to know – real facts, so you can make your own decision. ‘The Real Cost’ is brought to you by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. To learn more about our mission to protect the nation’s health, please visit”

Also good information/resources on dipping …

WhatsInAVape.comexploratory game for “evidence” and Easter eggs



Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults from the CDC

Talk with Teens — a Tip Sheet for Parents — Before the talk; Start the conversation; Answer the questions; Keep the conversation going.

Fact Sheet — lots of pictures, short text blocks



E-cigarettes affect a person’s blood vessels after just one use, study finds – CBS News – Aug. 22, 2019

Mystery lung illness linked to vaping; health officials investigating nearly 100 possible cases – The Washington Post – Aug. 16, 2019

‘Juul-alikes’ are filling shelves with sweet, teen-friendly nicotine flavors – The New York Times – Aug. 13, 2019

FDA investigates more than 120 cases of people having seizures after vaping – Fox News – Aug. 8, 2019

Study: Many teens don’t realize they are vaping nicotine – Fox News – April 25, 2019

What we know about vaping – Atlanta’s 11Alive news reports – April 8, 2019 (2:05)

    • Verify Team report
    • Teens who vape are more likely to use regular cigarettes in the future
    • Lists health concerns quickly
    • Safer does not equal safe – not safe for young people or non-smokers
    • (May have some benefit for smokers)
    • Long-term effects still unknown


FORTUNE Magazine: Juiced-Up Juul Pods Caused ‘Nicotine Arms Race’ in E-Cig Industry, study says

E-cigarette Use among Teens – excerpt from The Doctors TV show – Jun 16, 2017: (5:01)

    • Description of device and how it works
    • Teen who talks about how she got drawn in
    • Points out lack of information on vaping compared to lots of information on smoking tobacco
    • Different effects on teens vs adults

Good Morning America – Exploring Treatment Options for teens addicted to e-cigs – Dec. 20, 2018: (6:17)

    • Teens/teen brains are more susceptible to addiction.
    • Effects of nicotine on the brain is different for teens.
    • Teens’ developmental task (aka “mission”) to take risks, challenge authority, and fit in
    • Addiction signs in teens? Same thing you’d see in an adult trying to quit:
      • Restlessness, Irritability
      • Change in mood/concentration/academic performance
    • What to do?
      • Consult physician, Seek out substance abuse programs — just like any drug addiction
      • Talk to kids about the risks — just like any risk you know they are facing
      • Fear strategies/fear tactics don’t work

Truth about Vaping – Nov. 13, 2018 – (4:01)

Doodle presentation — good, easy-to-understand technical information.

As vaping trends rise, so does use in schools – Ohio news report – Oct. 26, 2018: (3:15)

Medical expert is division director for adolescent medicine at Akron Children’s Hospital; discusses how two school systems are dealing with it



Little Lungs in a Great Big World: 5 (30-sec each) — SILLY –

An Epidemic is Spreading (:30) – POWERFUL IMAGES –

Smoking, Nicotine and Addiction: The Cold Hard Facts (:39) – animated/doodle:

The Real Cost Commercial: “Stay in Control” (signing a contract that rolls up into a cigarette) (:30):



Lessons and Activities from – Learn about the latest statistics and how the FDA is addressing e-cigarette use among youth in this special message to teachers from the FDA Commissioner.


While there are not yet long-term studies on the use of the chemical that adds flavor e-cigarettes and an irreversible condition called “popcorn lung,” diacetyl is known to cause long-term damage to the lung’s smallest airways. For those seeking more information, check these resources: