Vaping is on the rise. According to the latest figures, an astonishing 20% of all high school students, or one in five students, vape regularly. But how do you know if your kids are among them? Drawing on the insights of reputable institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Child Mind Institute, and the Partnership For Drug-Free Kids, here is a list of potential warning signs for parents:
1) Increased Thirst. When you vape, your mouth and throat become dry. Kids who vape often start drinking more than usual. Many have dark circles under their eyes, another common sign of dehydration.
2) Desire For Spicy Food. Everyone needs moisture to taste the flavor of food. When our mouths get dry, we lose the ability to taste flavor. If you notice your kids suddenly want to eat more spicy food, or add more spice to their regular food, it could be a sign that they’ve started to vape. In fact, the more kids vape, the less flavorful food becomes to them. This is known as “vaper’s tongue.”
3) Frequent Nosebleeds. Vaping not only dries out the mouth and throat, but also the nose. When people vape, they typically exhale through their noses which causes the nasal passages to become dry. This, in turn, can lead to frequent nosebleeds.
4) Acne and Red Spots. Vaping, especially inhaling vaping liquids that contain nicotine, can also affect the skin. Nicotine ages the skin and slows down the healing of wounds. Kids who vape are more likely to have facial blemishes, including acne and red spots, that last longer and don’t heal easily.
5) Wheezing, Coughing, and Shortness of Breath. Vaping irritates the lungs and can lead to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In extreme cases, an inflammation of the lungs can lead to bacterial infection and pneumonia.
6) Less Java. If your kids usually enjoy caffeinated drinks, like frappucinos or energy drinks, but suddenly start to avoid them, it could be a sign that they’re vaping. When combined with caffeine, the nicotine in many vaping liquids can make people anxious and irritable and cause severe mood swings. Vapers often give up caffeine to avoid these side effects.
7) Sweet Aromas In The Air. Since most kids prefer vaping liquids with sweet flavors, one sign that your kids may be vaping is a strange, sweet scent comng from their rooms like bubble gum or fruit punch. If you suddenly get a whiff when your kids aren’t home, they could be hiding vaping flavored liquids in the house.
8) Strange Techie Equipment In Their Rooms. A sign that your kids may be vaping is if you find unfamiliar, high tech-looking devices or spare parts in their rooms, especially the trash can. This can include things like atomizers, battery chargers, cartridges, flash drives, and metallic coils. Most vaping devices consist of multiple parts that need to be replaced on a regular basis.