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Vaping and Dabbing Alert

Vaping and Dabbing Facts for Parents

Due to local reports of adverse reactions related to vaping/dabbing, the Carroll County Health Department is issuing an advisory and fact sheet including tips for talking to kids about vaping/dabbing and other substance use.

For more information or to get help with finding treatment and support for your child or someone else, call the Carroll County Health Department Bureau of Prevention, Wellness, and Recovery at 410-876-4449.

What is Vaping?

  • “Vaping” is the use of an e-cigarette to inhale an aerosol that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. 
  • E-cigarettes can also be used to vape marijuana –the dried plant, concentrated waxes called “dabs,” or THC and CBD oils. THC is the chemical in marijuana that causes many of the drug’s mind-altering effects.
  • E-cigarettes can also be used to vape other drugs.
  • E-cigarettes can look like cigarettes, cigars, pipes or even everyday objects like pens or USB flash drives. Other devices, such as those with fillable tanks, may look different.

Picture of different types of e-cigarettes

  • Some teens use e-cigarettes for “dripping” – putting e-liquid drops directly onto heated coils of the device. This produces thicker smoke but also higher levels of nicotine and toxins.
  • The FDA is investigating reports of seizures after e-cigarette use, especially in young adults.
  • Nicotine liquid used in the devices is toxic and can poison young children and pets.

What is JUULing?

  • JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that is shaped like a USB flash drive.
  • JUUL heats a nicotine liquid to make an aerosol that is inhaled.
  • All JUUL e-cigarettes have a high level of nicotine. According to the manufacturer, a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.

What is Dabbing?

  • “Dabbing” is another word for smoking or vaping THC extracts from marijuana.
  • Names for these THC extracts include hash oil or honey oil, wax, budder, and shatter.
  • These extracts are concentrated and vaping them can deliver very large amounts of THC, so the side effects of dabbing are often more powerful than those from smoked marijuana.
  • THC vaping has sent some people to the emergency room.
  • Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction.

Potential Risks

  • Vaping and dabbing are not considered safe for teens and young adults. Young adults who use marijuana or nicotine in any form are at risk for long-lasting effects.
  • Adolescent brains are still developing. Nicotine and marijuana affect parts of the brain that control attention and learning. Other risks include mood disorders and permanent problems with impulse control.
  • Nicotine and marijuana also affect the development of the brain’s reward system, so use can lead to addiction and use of other drugs. Younger people are at higher risk of addiction and other drug use.

How to Talk to Your Children about Vaping/Dabbing and E-Cigarettes

  • Know the Facts: Click the links below for science-based information about the real risks of youth e-cigarette use.
  • Be Patient and Ready to Listen: Avoid criticizing or lecturing your child, and encourage an ongoing open discussion.
  • Look for Opportunities to Start the Conversation: such as when seeing an advertisement for e-cigarettes
  • Answer Their Questions: Have some answers ready for questions like “Why don’t you want me to use e-cigarettes?”, “I thought e-cigarettes didn’t have nicotine?”, and “What’s the big deal about nicotine?”
  • Keep the Conversation Going: Encourage teens to learn the facts about e-cigarettes and continue making healthy choices, and remind teens of the risks to their health.


More Tips for Talking to Kids about Substance Use:


Sources – Learn More About the Risks of E-Cigarettes for Young People


Print this fact sheet: Vaping/Dabbing Fact Sheet