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Murphy Police Chief Arthur “Trey” Cotten is encouraging parents and guardians of adolescents to become aware of the dangers associated with vaping, and when necessary, take steps to ensure their children are avoiding the practice.
“Youngsters are under pressure from their peers for any number of issues,” he said. “Everything from the kinds of tennis shoes they wear, to the music they listen to, hairstyles, and social media postings. However, when that pressure leads to vaping, that’s where parents should step in and take a stand. It’s not an innocent fad that will go away, it’s an addictive habit that can lead to serious trouble.”
Cotten, a father two grown children, says middle school students are highly susceptible to the marketing and advertising techniques that vaping companies are using to sell their products. The idea of targeting young people is that nicotine use in early adolescence causes changes in the brain that make life-long addiction much more likely.
Addiction, however, is only one consequence of vaping. Nicotine, which is present in the vapors used in these electronic cigarettes, is known to have effects on the cardiovascular system. Some recent studies show that acute use of e-cigarette impaired flow-mediated dilation, this suggests that e-cigarettes can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Ear, eye and throat irritation is common among e-cigarette/vape pen users.
“It’s also a common medical fact that the extended use of these products causes further health issues, including cancer and heart disease,” said the Chief, citing material readily available from the Centers for Disease Control.
Many people incorrectly believe that these devices produce a water vapor when in fact they create aerosols that contain harmful chemicals, and ultra-fine particles that are inhaled into the lungs and out into the environment, making them harmful to the user and others nearby.
“Our children are the future, and we should strive to ensure they grow up healthy and safe. One way to do that is to get involved and perhaps get a little nosy about what they’re doing,” added the Chief.
The Murphy Police Department along with the Murphy Municipal Court are contemplating a zero-tolerance policy for use of vaping products by minors, including a requirement for parents and guardians be accountable for violations. Such a policy would require vetting at various levels.