Dangers of E-cigarettes for Teens and Young Adults

We are providing information on a topic that is becoming a growing health concern for our youth. Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), more commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vaping pens, vapes, e-pipes, tanks, or e-hookahs, are gaining in popularity among middle and high school students. While much education has been provided regarding the health risks and dangers of smoking cigarettes, much less has been provided about e-cigarettes which inadvertently sends an incorrect message to youth that these products have no harmful health consequences.

This is to inform you about how e-cigarettes work, what these devices look like, the prevalence of e-cigarettes among youth, the associated health risks, our policies on e-cigarettes, and request your help in discussing these harmful products with your children/students.

Talk with your Teen about E-Cigarettes – A Tip Sheet for Parents

Please review the following information shared by the FDA and Surgeon General.

How do e-cigarettes work?

  • E-cigarettes heat a liquid (that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients) into an aerosol that the user inhales; this process is referred to as vaping.
  • Users report feeling a nicotine high; second-hand smoke/vapor is also harmful to individuals standing near a user.
  • “JUUL” is one of the most popular brands for vaping products.
  • The liquid comes in over 7,000 flavors such as mango, chocolate, mint, and gummy bear, making it even more enticing for youth.

What do e-cigarettes look like?

  • Manufacturers can develop e-cigarettes to look like a cigarette, pipe, or a cigar which are easier to recognize.
  • However, e-cigarettes can also be developed to resemble a pen, USB stick, or larger device known as a tank system, making it more difficult to distinguish a vape pen from a real pen or a vape-stick from a USB stick (see photo below from the Surgeon General).

Ecig multiple






How are e-cigarettes harmful to youth?

  • As the device heats the liquid, individuals inhale the vapor (which may include nicotine and other harmful products) that lead to changes in the adolescent brain.
  • The brain is the last organ in the human body to develop fully. Brain development continues until the early to mid-20s. Nicotine exposure during periods of significant brain development, such as adolescence, can disrupt the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction.
  • The effects of nicotine exposure during youth and young adulthood can be long-lasting and can include lower impulse control and mood disorders.
  • The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products is highly addictive and can prime young brains for addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
  • Vape pens can contain or be laced with THC.

E-cigarettes Are Prohibited In Our Schools

We’d like to make sure students are aware that the possession or use (including sale or distribution) of tobacco or a look-alike substances (vape pen, e-cigarettes, etc.) by students is prohibited. Tobacco products in the possession of students will be confiscated with associated disciplinary actions. Tobacco, in all of its forms, is prohibited on school grounds. Please see our High School and Middle School Student Handbooks for more information. These policies are meant to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn in a healthy educational environment.

It is important to prevent harm to youth and young adults from e-cigarettes. We know enough to take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people. Everyone has a role, including parents, health care providers, teachers, and others who work with and care about young people.  

Thank you

Stephen A. Pettit, High School Principal
Michael Dailey, Junior High Principal
Scott Bauer, Spring Creek Principal


Additional Informational Resources