GO Health warns of dangers of vaping, which is on rise with teens

Posted 5 April 2024 at 1:54 pm

Press Release, Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments

Have you ever wondered why someone vapes even after learning about the dangers and effects from it?

There are hidden facts behind the range of colors and flavors associated with e-cigarettes. From addictive nicotine to harmful chemicals, the dangers of vaping are real. It is time to clear the air and learn about the risks of vaping.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, heat a liquid to create an aerosol, or mixture of tiny particles in the air. There are many different names for e-cigarettes, including “electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS),” “tank systems,” “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” and “vapes.”

The Public Health Law’s Article 13-E, sometimes referred to as the Clean Indoor Air Act, has grown in New York State to ban smoking and vaping, and prohibit the sale or distribution of nicotine vapor products with unique flavors, such as e-cigarettes.

However, the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers is on the rise, and sale of these devices to teenagers is illegal. According to the 2021 CLYDE Survey administered in schools in Genesee and Orleans Counties by UConnectCare (formally GCASA), it was reported that 19.7% of 11th graders reported vaping with nicotine in the previous 30 days, and 11.1% reported vaping with marijuana during the same time period.

Vaping is dangerous and can have unknown long-term impacts:

  • Nicotine is in most e-cigarettes and is extremely addictive. Nicotine can damage adolescent brain development, which lasts into the early to mid-20s.
  • Youth who use nicotine have a higher chance of developing a substance use disorder.
  • Young people might see vaping as a way to cope with stress or anxiety. Yet, an addiction to nicotine can lead to stress.
  • Long-term e-cigarette use increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by severely harming the body’s blood vessel function.
  • According to the American Psychiatric Association, having symptoms of depression increases the likelihood of a teen using e-cigarettes. Using e-cigarettes is associated with worsening symptoms of depression.
  • Vaping devices may contain vitamin E acetate. According to research, inhaling vitamin E acetate may cause problems for normal lung function.

“Unlike cigarettes, vaping is often easy to hide due to its discrete nature,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “The devices used for vaping sometimes look like USB drives or pens. E-cigarettes also do not have a lingering odor, making it easier for individuals to vape without drawing attention. This causes challenges to parents, teachers and other authorities to detect and stop vaping.”

Signs that your child or someone you know might be vaping include:

  • Increased Thirst. Vaping is hydroscopic, which means that it dehydrates the skin of the throat and mouth. People who vape are left with a dry mouth as a result. The body naturally wants a drink to fight dehydration as a result.
  • Among teenagers, JUULs, which are slim devices that look like USB flash drives, and vape pens that mimic regular pens, are the most popular e-cigarettes. If you come across an odd-looking pen or USB drive, it could possibly be an e-cigarette.
  • Mood swings. After inhaling nicotine, users may get a brief rush, but this feeling quickly wears off making their mood less consistent.

Get Help Today

If you are interested in quitting, or someone you know needs help quitting, help is available:

  • Visit the New York State Smokers’ Quitline for quit-smoking and quit-vaping programs, or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487), to apply for a free starter kit of nicotine medications and to talk to a quit coach.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about medications and counseling to help you manage cravings. Most health insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover services to help you quit.

For more information about GO Health programs and services, visit GOHealthNY.org or contact your local health department at

  • Orleans County: (585) 589-3278
  • Genesee County: (585) 344-2580 ext. 5555