Did you know that in 2017, 25.6% of Oklahoma high school youth reported they currently were using a tobacco product, including e-cigarettes? E-cigarette devices are commonly used among teens and from recent studies, most teens who vape are unaware that vaping cartridges contain liquid nicotine in them. When a person vapes, the liquid nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream and activates the adrenal glands to release the adrenaline throughout the body and central nervous system. This process increases blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Nicotine also increases higher levels of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that promotes the feeling of pleasure and reinforces rewarding behaviors that motivates some people to repeatedly use nicotine again.

To prevent or reduce the risk of teens initiating tobacco use, the FDA raised the legal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 in December 2019. The FDA also issued an enforcement policy on flavored vaping cartridges such as, fruit and mint flavors, that appeal to children.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free, 24/7 service available to anyone who is thinking about quitting tobacco. Visit OKhelpline.com or call 1-800-784-8669 for free support and coaching services.

Sources: Drug Facts-Vaping Devices: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/vaping-devices-electronic-cigarettes CDC-Extinguishing the Tobacco Epidemic in Oklahoma: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/about/osh/state-fact-sheets/oklahoma/

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