Vaping: It's All a Smokescreen

Janice Selekman


Pediatr Nurs. 2019;45(1):12-15. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The newest fad for youth is dangerous and addictive. While the prevalence of smoking tobacco by teens decreased significantly over the years, nicotine delivery has resurfaced in a new format. Whether referred to as vaping or juuling, the use of electronic cigarettes has implications for the pediatric nurse as well as for the health of youth.


Smoking and its associated nicotine addiction are back. Not the kind of smoking of the past made of rolled tobacco in a pack of 20, but rather, new electronic devices, some no bigger than a thumb drive. It is the new epidemic affecting adolescents. For decades, healthcare providers fought to decrease smoking among youth, and success was within our grasp, but the tobacco companies came roaring back.

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the percentage of adolescents experimenting with cigarettes, even one puff, has decreased significantly from 70% in 1991 to 58.4% in 2003 to 28.9% in 2017 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2018a); of this latest group of youth of 9th through 12th graders, 9.5% indicated they had tried smoking before they were 13 years of age and 8.8% currently smoked cigarettes. However, that same survey found that 42.2% had tried an electronic vapor product, and 13.2% were current users of electronic cigarettes (CDC, 2018a). These facts have significant implications for the pediatric nurse.