2 Trends That Could Affect the Health of Your Child

Parents know that they need to be vigilant when it comes to the health of their children. There are two troubling trends on the rise that could affect the wellbeing and health of youth and adolescents today. Both of these trends stem from a mistaken belief that they’re not harmful habits: vaping (inhalation of vaporized nicotine) and marijuana use. These are a few facts that you should know:


1)    Nicotine is harmful, even if it’s not smoked.

While vaping may seem harmless compared to tobacco cigarettes, there are still some associated risks. Nicotine, no matter how it’s introduced to the body, is still a highly addictive substance that can disrupt formation of crucial brain development that controls attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction in adolescents.


2)    Vape pens introduce other potentially harmful chemicals.

In addition to the presence of nicotine in e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, these devices can also contain heavy metals, ultrafine particulate, and cancer-causing agents as well as propylene glycol or glycerine and flavorings. Since these devices are relatively new, the long-term health effects of these substances is currently unknown, not to mention they are largely unregulated by the FDA.


3)    Marijuana affects brain development.

A troubling new study found that two out of three high school students in Maine do not think marijuana can be harmful. That is not the case, however. Marijuana in adolescents can reduce thinking, memory, learning, and it can affect how the brain builds connections between different areas to facilitate these functions. Recent studies also show that regular marijuana use changes the structure of a developing brain, while heavy marijuana use has been linked to poor school performance, higher dropout rates, increased welfare dependence, greater unemployment, and lower life satisfaction.