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Health professionals worry about ”vaping” or e-cigarette use by children and adolescents

Published: 6.11.2023

The use of electronic cigarettes by children and adolescents has exploded. Like regular tobacco, e-cigarettes contain substances that are damaging to health.

– In my work as a primary school nurse, I have noticed an increase in the use and experimentation of e-cigarettes. Last year they were hardly ever mentioned, but this autumn there are some pupils who have tried e-cigarettes, says Ilona Kangas, school nurse in the Ostrobothnia welfare region.

An electric cigarette can look like a lip balm tube or a headphone case

Electric cigarettes are battery- or cell-powered devices made of plastic and metal that heat liquid into vapour. The vapour is inhaled into the lungs in the same way as cigarettes are smoked.

– An electric cigarette can look like a lip balm tube or an earbud case, making them difficult to identify,” says Kangas.

What is worrying is that e-cigarettes contain ingredients that are harmful to health and there is a lack of long-term research data.

– I encourage parents to discuss openly with their children and young people about drugs and the dangers of using them, says Tiina Ekholm, the school doctor in charge of the welfare region in Ostrobothnia.

The week of Preventive Substance Abuse Work takes place from 6 to 12 November

The National Week for Preventive Substance Abuse Work will take place from 6 to 12 November 2023.

The theme week encourages you to ask clarifying questions. It pays to ask! The questions can be asked by a loved one or a friend, a youth worker, a teacher, or a social and health professional.

The theme for 2023 is Hand in Hand: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Work.