Community Regional

Increase in youth vaping raises concerns

Vaping has reached epidemic proportions in youth across the country since its introduction in 2007. In North Dakota alone, 21 percent of high school students currently identify as a vaping product user (ND Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2017). According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, the number of high school-age children using vaping products rose by more than 75 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Vaping devices are not approved as a cessation aid by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are considered unsafe for youth.
“Tobacco use among youth in any form, including vaping devices, is not safe and opens the door to other possible addictions in the future,” said Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Director, Neil Charvat. “Parents need to be on the lookout for devices that look suspicious. They may look like pens or flash drives and be challenging to identify.”
Parents and other adults play a key role in reducing the likelihood a young person would use e-cigarettes. Here are a few strategies:
Have ongoing conversations – Talk openly and regularly about the dangers of e-cigarettes and the harm that nicotine can do to their growing brain. Make it clear that you have a strong stance against them using tobacco products.
Set a positive example by being tobacco-free – If you use tobacco, it’s never too late to quit. Visit or call 1.800.QUIT.NOW
Reduce young people’s exposure to e-cigarettes – This includes restricting e-cigarette use around young people, visiting tobacco-free locations, ensuring school is tobacco-free, making your home tobacco-free and being a positive example by living tobacco-free or quitting.
Talk to your health care provider – a visit to a health care professional is an opportunity to educate your child on the potential risks, including the impact of nicotine on the developing brain, and the dangers of using other substances in e-cigarette devices.
For more information, visit to learn tips on how to talk to your children about substance use, for information on e-cigarettes or contact the North Dakota Department of Health at 701.328.3398.