At The Cabell Huntington Health Department, we understand that being a parent can be challenging and addressing issues like youth vaping with your child can be both difficult and uncomfortable. That is why we created this toolkit, filled with educational materials, statistics, tips for recognizing e-cigarette use among your own children, and tools to make it easier to talk to your child about vaping. Because, we want you to be as educated and equipped as possible we also provided links to other resources and organizations which may be useful. Ultimately it is our goal to ensure that each parent in Cabell County, has everything they need to #BeSure that their child is safe from the dangers of e-cigarettes.
Official statement from Cabell Huntington Board of Health
What every parent needs to know
What is an E-cigarette?
- E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid solution in order to produce an aerosol that can be inhaled.
- The liquid solution comes in many flavors, and can have varying amounts of Nicotine.
- Inhaling this aerosol is often referred to as “vaping,” which perpetuates the lie that this aerosol is harmless water vapor. Yet, unlike water vapor, the aerosol from an e-cigarette can contain up to 60 different toxins and tiny chemical particles from both the liquid solution and the device (e.g., metals from the heating coil).
- Vaping has become very popular among youth in West Virginia. In fact, we are among the top 5 states for youth vaping.
- Almost all e-liquid contains some amount of Nicotine, which can cause abnormal brain development for anyone under the age of 25 years.
Most common reasons kids use e-cigarettes include:
39% Use by “friend or family member”
31% Availability of “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate”
17% Belief that “they are less harmful than other forms of tobacco”
How Common is E-cigarette Use Among Youth?
According to 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) data, 3.6 Million Youth are currently vaping. This is a 78% Increase among high school students and 48% increase among middle school students, in the last year. This spike in e-cigarette use among this particular population has coincided with an increase in advertising directed at youth, a more easily concealable design, and an increase in flavorings.
Why Is Vaping on School Grounds Going Undetected?
Due to the smaller, sleeker design of current e-cigarette devices, it has become much more difficult to recognize student vaping in the classroom. Current devices that are popular among students are made to resemble a flash drive and are small enough to hide under your clothes. This allows students to conceal the devices under their shirt and then lift the collar enough to inhale and exhale into the shirt. The clothing absorbs the aerosol, erasing any evidence that the student was vaping. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the current detection devices used in bathrooms, do not recognize vape as smoke and therefore do not alert school staff. This makes it easier to vape in the bathrooms and in between classes. Below are links to information which can help you identify the signs of vaping, and ways to discuss this issue with your child’s school.
How to Have the “Big Talk,” Tips for Communicating with Your Child
The most important action you can take, is talking with your child. This conversation can be intimidating, but it is a critical step to ensuring your child’s lungs are safe. If you need help with this, CHHD is here. You can contact our office at 304-523-6483, or you can follow the link provided below for tips on communicating with your child about vaping.
Helping Teens Quit
CHHD is dedicated to helping teens and adults quit smoking/vaping, and offers programs which can assist you. Our dedicated, local expert, Teresa Mills, is committed to improving the lives of our community members by providing smoking cessation classes, and linking people in Cabell County, with services and resources to make the process more manageable. Feel free to contact our local CHHD office at 304-523-6483, for assistance or information.