A teen expiring vapour from a hookah pipe

It’s a new generation, and there’s another way to hook kids on nicotine. Shisha, hookah, electronic cigarettes, and other vaping devices have shot up in popularity. They’re the latest method to deliver nicotine ­along with mixtures of chemicals that users suck into their lungs.

For kids, vaping may seem like a fun, harmless, social experience. Toxins masked with sweet candy flavors and marketed as cool, which gives the user social props among his peers in much the same way tobacco cigarettes were sold for decades.

For a look at how the cigarette industry targeted young people, a now-public collection of studies, reports and memos created by tobacco companies show that vaping products are made available in fruity and candy flavours to make it more appealing to young ones. Shisha for example, is marketed as harmless, because the nicotine is passed through filtered water, and mixed with aromatic spices to make it appear harmless.

In fact, some teens believe this vaping products are safe as one doctor said of her patient whom she was treating from nicotine addiction:

She was the one that said to me, It’s not tobacco. It’s safe, and it’s a way for me to not miss my cigarettes. And it even smells good she says. She showed it to me, and it smelled just like a lollipop. And I thought, ‘Oh, no.’


Two teens with an e-cigarette

An in-depth article shows the dangers e- and other vaping products hold for teens. Developing young brains may be more vulnerable to nicotine’s effects. Since it is possible to vape without nicotine; non-nicotine products are available. But that doesn’t mean all the risk is removed. Chemicals may damage lung tissue and disrupt the barrier function of the lungs, resulting in very serious respiratory tract and heart diseases.