As a former health educator, very little surprises me when it comes to teenagers. However, that has all changed with the news I’m getting about e-cigarettes or jewels or pods or whatever they are called. I have treated several teens in the past few months to help them ‘kick the habit’ and hypnosis has been a very effective and successful solution. The reports, however from these students indicate that it is very widespread and is done in school without detection because the smell and vapor from the devices are virtuallyundetectable. Those who I have treated reported to me that they did it all day. They felt very addicted and that feelingscared them. It is being done as young as middle school andis completely out of control in high school. It has become the rage and is seen as being much less objectionable than cigarettes.
The scare tactics being used by the schools to dissuade kids from starting are having the unintended consequence ofconvincing many teens that this activity is so addictive that they cannot stop their use of these products once they start. The ‘pods’ they purchase come in many different flavors and the marketing is directed at kids. I was told by one parent that one of the flavors available is called ‘unicorn milk’. How can anything associated with unicorns be bad? I cannot even imagine how the FDA permitted these devices to be allowed on the market since they are clearly a different delivery system for putting things into the body that aren’t food or nutrients, just chemicals. How harmful they are is yet to be determined because the current generation of users are the guinea pigs!
I guess the question is: What can be done to help or dissuade kids from using these? The law clearly states that one must be 18 to purchase them but the enforcement of those laws is unfeasible since they can be purchased online. These devices are far from harmless although they are promoted to help people stop smoking cigarettes. In the endthis is really simply replacing one vice with another. Hypnosis can stop the smoking habit in the most effective painless way but doctors that recommend it are still in the minority. I get many doctor referrals but I hear most commonly that doctors offer Chantix or nicotine patches and gum first. When those don’t work, people resort to hypnosis. It’s hard to imagine that hypnosis wouldn’t be the first choice. I often wonder if doctors get paid for prescribing these awful chemical tobacco substitutes. It’shard to find any other reason for those decisions.
Parents and adults who are concerned about teens, and even preteens, need to be aware of what they are doing. The teens I helped told me they ‘did it all day.’ They had physical feelings from it that some found frightening, especially when they tried to stop. Fortunately for those who chose it, hypnosis is very effective in stopping the cravings and dependence on these devices, but the person has to want to quit. Please pay attention to what your kids are into and communicate with other parents to find support to help these kids make healthier choices.