Free Toolkit for Schools, Teens, and Parents Aims to Reduce Teen E-Cigarette Use
Washington, DC— December 10, 2019— Today, national nonprofit Addiction Policy Forum launched “Vaping: Know the Facts,” a campaign and toolkit with resources for teachers, school administrators, teens and parents that explains what science says about adolescent e-cigarette use; spoiler alert: vaping is not safe. As the real risks of “vaping” remain largely misunderstood by adults and teens alike, the campaign boils down the latest research into a digestible format that empowers teens and adults.
E-cigarettes were introduced to the US market in 2007 and promoted as a healthier alternative to smoking for adults. Since then, a culture of vaping — classified as an epidemic by the Surgeon General in 2018— has emerged among adolescents. Between 2017 and 2018, the share of high-school students using e-cigarettes rose by 78 percent; meaning that one in five teens use e-cigarettes. Vaping-related illnesses have resulted in 42 deaths to date, which prompted more than eight states to take action to reduce access.
E-cigarettes have not yet been subject to a government health and safety review, which has resulted in a misinformed consumer base that is largely unaware of the health risks of vaping and perceive vaping as a harmless alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.
“Although companies claim that they never intended to grow such a following among minors, their marketing activities across youth-specific platforms suggest otherwise,” says Jessica Hulsey Nickel at Addiction Policy Forum. “This campaign aims to correct misinformation, explain how vaping affects the adolescent brain and empower teachers, parents, and students with action steps.”
The toolkit includes a video, fact sheets, lesson plan, school policy recommendations and additional components that can be accessed by visiting Addiction Policy Forum’s website (www.addictionpolicy.org). This toolkit is part of a larger prevention campaign for middle and high school students by the Addiction Policy Forum called Protect Your Brain. The content was developed in collaboration with educators, students, and experts in adolescent medicine and prevention. The video was animated by artist Patrick Smith, whose recent work includes the award-winning PBS web-series “Blank on Blank.”
To access the toolkit, visit https://www.addictionpolicy.org/vaping-facts
About Addiction Policy Forum
Addiction Policy Forum is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem. Our headquarters are located in Bethesda, MD with resources and services in every state. For more information, visit: https://www.addictionpolicy.org