Image courtesy of The New York Times
E-hookahs, hookah pens or vape pipes—call them what you will, but a rose by any other name still stinks, especially when it comes to teens and smoking. Subgenres of devices, virtually identical to e-cigarettes, are flooding the market, and with their array of rainbow colors and fruity flavors, they are appealing to a younger audience. An article in this week’s New York Times highlighted this disturbing new trend. A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 10% of high school students across the country had tried e-cigarettes in 2012, double the number from 2011. However, because many teens do not group other electronic inhalers into the same category as e-cigarettes, the CDC is concerned that they cannot properly corral the data and may be underestimating usage. Fortunately, my friends and I weren’t really smokers in high school. I hardly ever took a puff and the smell really kept me from forming a habit, but if everyone had been dragging on smoke-free tutti-frutti-flavored vapor, I am pretty sure that more of us would have been hooked. These new inhalers are creating the illusion that this type of smoking is harmless, when in fact most of these gadgets do contain varying degrees of nicotine. I have never heard my 14-year-old daughter talk about vape pipes and the like, but it’s a conversation we are going to have tonight. What do you think of this new trend, and how will you discuss it with your tween or teen? Please let us know in the comments below.