Do you recall seeing the “Talk Early, Talk Often” campaign over the last couple of years? This campaign was developed to help educate and empower parents and caregivers to have ongoing conversations with the young people in their lives around drugs and alcohol. Although the coalition wants adults to have conversations on all drugs, we are specifically working to create awareness of issues surrounding youth electronic cigarette use and its adverse effects.
While popular opinion and legal policies around e-cigarettes have changed rapidly in recent years, misunderstandings about the potential impacts of these devices persist.
Today’s e-cigarettes are more addictive than traditional cigarettes, causing heightened concerns for parents, communities and health officials. Addictive qualities of e-cigarettes are measured by the amount of nicotine that is contained in e-cigarette juice or pre-filled pods and the flavors used. In a 2015 study, 99 percent of e-cigarette products sold contained nicotine. In a regular strength tobacco cigarette, the nicotine levels average around 18 mg/ml. In a JUUL, the e-cigarette market’s biggest player, the nicotine level measures 59 mg/ml in their pre-filled, flavored pods.
This high amount of nicotine can change brain chemistry, making youth more susceptible to addiction and negatively affecting memory and attention span, after only a few days or weeks of use. These effects may last a long time or even be permanent.
In 2016, approximately 17 percent of Sherburne County 8th, 9th, and 11th grade students reported past 30-day e-cigarette use on the Minnesota Student Survey, which was 7 percent higher than the state’s usage rate! Studies show that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try conventional cigarettes in the future than youth who do not use e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette use carries real risks for our youth, just as alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs do. Parents are the most powerful influence in a child’s life. We encourage you to use and/or share the following resources to help guide conversations with young people on the dangers of using e-cigarettes and other vaping devices:
We also have free posters (8.5x11) and table tents (4x6) that address the potential health consequences of e-cigarette use. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 763-765-3546 to secure your signage!
View these resources at www.sherburnesupcoalition.org/talk-early-talk-often. Also, follow our Facebook page (SCSUPC) for additional information on the coalition and our initiatives!