A practitioner's guide to electronic cigarettes in the adolescent population
We present guidance on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) for health care professionals who care for adolescents. ENDS provide users with inhaled nicotine in an aerosolized mist. Popular forms of ENDS include e-cigarettes and vape-pens. ENDS range in disposability, customization, and price. Growth of ENDS usage has been particularly rapid in the adolescent population, surpassing that of conventional cigarettes in 2014. Despite surging use throughout the United States, little is known about the health risks posed by ENDS, especially in the vulnerable adolescent population. These products may potentiate nicotine addiction in adolescents and have been found to contain potentially harmful chemicals. The growth in these products may be driven by relaxed purchasing restrictions for minors, lack of advertising regulations, and youth friendly flavors. Taken together, ENDS represent a new and growing health risk to the adolescent population, one that health care professionals should address with their patients. We suggest a patient centered strategy to incorporate ENDS use into routine substance counseling.