(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is reminding families and schools to continue to work together to share anti-vaping messages with youth.
In 2019, one in four twelfth graders, one in five tenth graders, and one in ten eight graders vaped. 2018 to 2019 represented the second-largest one-year jump ever tracked for any substance in the 45-year survey history. Many vape devices are so slim and sleek that they can resemble flash drives and be easily hidden.
The bottom line is that vaping is not safe for kids, teens, or young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- A recent CDC study found that 99% of the e-cigarettes sold in assessed venues in the United States contained nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development.
- E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine such as ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to lung disease; and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and even lead.
- Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke combustible cigarettes in the future.
Parents and educators are encouraged to consider the following as ongoing efforts to safeguard our youth against vaping:
- Be equipped with the facts. Visit adctusc.org and other credible resources to ensure you are familiar with vaping terminology, the kinds of devices, warning signs, and the effects.
- Try to understand why. Studies indicate more than 60% of teens say they vape just to experiment and see what it’s like and 40% say they vape because it tastes good.
- Have conversations. Look for opportunities to discuss vaping with children such as letters from schools about vaping policies, advertisements, seeing someone vaping, etc. Try using open-ended questions like “what do you think about vaping?”
- Convey clear expectations. Express your understanding of the risks and why a person might want to vape. Share with your child why you don’t want him or her to vape.
- Be a good role model. Set a positive example by being vape and tobacco-free. If you do vape, keep your equipment, and supplies secure.
“Prevention is a community effort,” explained Jodi Salvo, Coordinator of the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition. “It is critical that we work together to inform and educate our youth and our communities about the risks and long-term effects these devices pose.”
For more information about the local work of the ADC, visit adctusc.org.