Nicotine found in vapes, cigarettes and other tobacco products can be highly addictive for adolescents and can seriously impact brain development. 

Nicotine use disrupts the way brain connections are formed which can impact the parts of the brain that control:

– Attention and learning

– Mood disorders and irritability

– Impulse control

– The risk for future addiction to other drugs

Nicotine Addiction.png

Nicotine: The impact on the teen brain.

Nicotine found in vapes, cigarettes and other tobacco products can be highly addictive for adolescents and can seriously impact brain development. There are several misconceptions and misunderstandings about nicotine found in e-cigarettes or vapes that it is important to communicate to adolescents, including the following:

 

  • Vapes still contain chemicals that can cause damage to the brain and respiratory system

  • Vapes are still addictive, and people who are trying to stop using vapes can experience withdrawal symptoms

  • Vaping or use of e-cigarettes has become popular with teens due to many of the misconceptions outlined above, as well as other reasons (i.e., lower cost compared to cigarettes, flavorings available, desire to “fit in” with peers using) – but (again) are still just as dangerous as traditional smoking

 

Nicotine use disrupts the way brain connections are formed which can impact the parts of the brain that control: attention and learning; mood disorders and irritability; impulse control; the risk for future addiction to other drugs. As referenced above, adolescents who choose to use nicotine products and then attempt to stop may experience withdrawal symptoms and increased irritability. Additionally, the risk for use of other drugs such as alcohol and marijuana increase with the use of nicotine – so it is important that teens understand the facts about use and the potential impacts on the brain and other major bodily systems.

 

For additional resources on talking to your teen about nicotine use, please see the following:

 

Johns Hopkins University – 5 Vaping Facts You Need to Know

 

Surgeon General – Know the Risks of E-Cigarettes

 

American Heart Association – Tips for Quitting

For help and more information, contact:
Lauren McArdle, Ph.D., District 95 at 847-540-4973
or Sara Marx, LCPC, NCC, Ela Township at 847-540-8380