The Dangers of Teenage Vaping in Florida

In 2020, President Donald Trump’s administration pointed out the epidemic of e-cigarettes which was rampant across the United States. As a result, the administration implemented laws to stop children and teenagers from using electronic cigarettes. Unfortunately, the regulation had a loophole; the administration did not prohibit vaping fruity and sweet flavors. This loophole resulted in a popularity boom of disposable e-cigarettes among high and middle- school children nationwide.

Vaping, otherwise known as the use of electronic cigarettes, poses a tremendous risk to the health and well-being of everyone, especially teenagers. We will look into the dangers of electronic cigarettes among teens in Florida in this article.

Vaping Culture in Florida

The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey conducted extensive research into the culture of vaping among youths in Florida. The survey documented that 24.5% of high school students in Florida used e-cigarettes 30 days before the survey. This statistic shows the level of addiction of teenagers to nicotine and its allies in Florida.

When the 2020 survey compared to the previous year, 2019, it showed a percentage increase of 16.67%. The survey also reported that 28.8% and 48.5% of middle and high school students have tried vaping at least once.

Electronic cigarettes have become a growing crisis in Florida schools as teachers and school security reports several trends of students vaping in the bathrooms and behind school buildings. Some schools also use security dogs to sniff our electronic cigarettes on school campuses.

The principal rationale behind underage vaping in Florida is the hype# and advertisement of electronic cigarettes to teenagers and young adults. Several e-cigarette companies use colorful

promotions, sweet flavors, and celebrity endorsement deals to convince teenagers that vaping is cool. These marketing strategies impressed electronic cigarettes on young adults, teenagers, and children.

Vaping and Teenage Health

E-cigarettes can cause severe lung damage and cancer because it contains harmful chemicals. Formaldehyde and acrolein are substances in electronic cigarettes that cause severe health concerns, including respiratory and health problems. Electronic cigarettes also contain nicotine which is a highly addictive substance. Nicotine negatively affects kids and teenagers because it affects memory and cognitive development.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) noted that nicotine dependence among teenagers can lead to addiction to other harmful substances, including heroin and cocaine. Nicotine has also caused severe heart problems. In addition, the American Heart Association cautioned that nicotine exposure could result in health problems, including an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, leading to other heart issues and stroke.

The Florida Department of Health also reported that vaping can result in respiratory issues, including coughing, hyperventilation, and shortness of breath. In addition, long-term use of electronic cigarettes has also caused severe health issues such as lung cancer.

Vaping And Teenage Education

E-cigarettes not only cause health-related problems but can also result in poor academic performance among teenagers and young adults. A study published in Tobacco Control reported that high school students who are into vaping are likelier to have lower grades. Such students also miss school more than students who do not use e-cigarettes.

In the result published by the study, there is a 42% increase in poor academic performance and a 31% increase in missing school among teens who vape. These results show that vaping among teenagers can cause substantial damage to their academic performance and long- term consequences on future productivity.

The Long-term Consequences of Teenage Vaping

Even though the health risks and academic consequences of vaping among teenagers are alarming, the long-term implications can be more damaging. In a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, teenagers and kids who use e-cigarettes are more prone to smoking regular cigarettes than kids who do not vape. In addition, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Therefore, parents should monitor their wards to prevent them from taking up the bad habit of smoking.


In addition, vaping also has terrible effects on teenage brain function and development. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that adolescent vaping can result in mild and severe brain damage. Vaping can also have long-term effects on brain parts responsible for learning, impulse control, and attention.

Fentanyl and Vaping among Teenagers

A new trend among teenagers and drug dealers is altering vaping devices by injecting methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other illicit drugs into the vaping liquid. Vape juices are fragrant and perfectly hide these dangerous drugs. Unfortunately, this makes unsuspecting young adults and kids very vulnerable to the adverse effects of hard drugs.

Most teenagers and kids do not know the substances added to vape pens. The side effects of fentanyl include respiratory problems, hallucinations, seizures, and overdose. The amount of illicit drugs added to vape pens has raised severe issues in Florida. There are several news reports of students who thought they were smoking a weed vape, only to be rushed to the hospital on fentanyl overdose.

Between 2012 and 2022, the leading cause of death among Americans ages 18 to 45 is fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 60 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl is so deadly that one-time use can result in death. In a study conducted by Families Against Fentanyl, children under 14 have the highest recorded number of deaths from fentanyl poisoning. The total number of deaths from a fentanyl overdose in Florida is roughly 6000 yearly, the highest in the United States. Close to 400 deaths occur in the age group 0 to 24.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, nearly a million people died from drug overdoses between 1998 and 2013. The state of Florida is 23.19% above the national average death rate from drug overdose. Additionally, 7.50% of nationwide deaths from drug overdoses occur in Florida.

The best way to eradicate the dangers of vaping in the community is through education. Schools, parents, and other stakeholders in Florida must educate young adults and teenagers about the risks of vaping. Parents should also ensure that kids and teenagers are constantly supervised to prevent them from accessing illegal drugs. Healthcare providers should also sensitize kids to the perils of e-cigarettes and provide adequate support to young people struggling with addiction. A safe community is possible when everyone works together for a safer and healthier tomorrow.

Author-Cristina Frisby Cavallo

Cristina Frisby Cavallo,while being the Co-Founder of The Robin Foundation is also an accomplished healthcare professional with over 15 years of experience in behavioral health and addiction treatment. She has successfully provided individuals and families with compassionate client care across a variety of settings. Cristina has the innate ability to attract and develop prolific relationships, both in developing a rapport with clients and in creating mutually beneficial provider and community agency partnerships. Cristina is a fierce advocate for individuals as well as family members, ensuring that loved ones are included and supported throughout the recovery process.

In addition to her professional experience, Cristina holds a Master of Science in Human Services with a specialization in Addiction Counseling. She is certified by the State of Florida as a Master Level Addiction Professional (MCAP) with international reciprocity as a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ICADC), as well as a designated Certified Addictionologist (C.A.D..) by American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders.