Vaping and nicotine: what parents need to know
When vaping first became popular back in 2015, very little was known about it. Was vaping safe? Was it a flashy trend that would burn out in a few months? Weren’t they basically flashy fidgets filled with water vapor?
Fast forward a few years and vaping has not gone away, for despite claims to the contrary, nearly all e-juices ( the liquid that is loaded into vapes to create the ‘smoke’ or ‘vapor’) contain nicotine which is one of the most addictive substances second only to heroin. And the rest of the ingredients are far from harmless, and many still remain a mystery.
Massachusetts recently instigated a ban on vape sales and an investigation into vaping after over 1,000 vape-related illnesses were reported, resulting in over 30 deaths. Now, more than ever, parents are urged to talk with their kids about vaping and the related health risks; not least of which is the risk of developing a lifetime addiction to nicotine.
Please visit these linked resources for information on cessation tools for youth, ways to get involved in ending vaping, information on what vaping does to the body, and tips on how to start a conversation on this topic with your kids.
Vape Facts and Ways to Take Action
Parents can play a powerful role in reducing and eliminating youth vaping. If this is a topic near to your heart, consider being a change agent through one of the following means:
- Attend Northampton Board of Health meetings when the topic involves tobacco, vape, and nicotine restrictions. BOH meetings are held at 5:30pm on the third Thursday of the month. Click here for the 2019 schedule. Email the Health Department for exact times, location, and meeting agenda.
- Attend your school’s PTO meetings and voice your concerns on vaping. Contact them via email for meeting dates and times: JFK: firstname.lastname@example.org or NHS: email@example.com
- Consider starting or advocating for an 84.org chapter at your child’s school. The 84.org empowers students to become advocates for their own health by fighting big tobacco’s tactics to market and sell nicotine products to youth. Learn more here: The84.org
- Join NPC as a volunteer, or as a subscriber to our email and newsletter updates to stay abreast of what is happening on this topic in our community. Email us : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Talk to your kids about vaping, set limits around vaping, and do your best to prevent vape devices from being brought into schools. Tips for having a productive conversation available here.