Thursday, October 18, 2018

Know the Facts…..


Principal “Reflections & Projections”

Time to get right to the point, kids are hooked on JUUL e-cigarettes and any adult who doesn’t believe so, just isn’t aware.  JUULing is a term you need to know.

We are trying everything we can to reverse this growing problem, as is every other high school in the state and nation. As of right now, we are losing. We need parent help. We need all adults to be aware.

Most all of the facts I will share come from either the US Surgeon General or Truth Initiative sites.

E-cigarette use among both youth and young adults has increased considerably in recent years. In 2015, more than a quarter of students in grades 6 through 12 and more than a third of young adults had ever tried e-cigarettes. In just two years on the market, JUUL, a new type of e-cigarette, has become so popular among young people that it has already amassed nearly half of the e-cigarette market share. The product’s quick rise in popularity prompted has it labeled “the most widespread phenomenon you’ve likely never heard of.”

Here are some important things to know about JUUL, which may be putting a new generation of youth at risk of nicotine dependence.

JUUL devices heat up a cartridge containing oils to create vapor, which quickly dissolves into the air. The device is small enough to fit in a closed fist and has a sleek, tech-inspired design that resembles a USB flash drive.  You probably have seen one and not even realized what it was. You may have even seen it plugged in and charging in your kid’s room, and not realized what it was.

While the JUUL manufacturer claims it is only for adults, JUUL comes in flavors, including mint, mango, watermelon and crème brulee, which are proven to appeal to young people and facilitate initiation of tobacco product use. A single JUUL cartridge is roughly equal to a pack of cigarettes, or 200 cigarette puffs, according to the product website. Nicotine is an addictive chemical, and evidence suggests that nicotine use during adolescence and young adulthood has long-term impacts on brain development.  This product is extremely addictive.

Most young people do not realize that they are inhaling nicotine when they vape. The majority of youth e-cigarette users think that they vaped only flavoring, not nicotine, according to the University of Michigan’s 2016 Monitoring the Future study. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 99 percent of e-cigarettes sold in U.S. convenience stores, supermarkets and similar outlets in 2015 contained nicotine.

When using JUUL users inhale aerosol into their lungs. E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver cannabinoids such as marijuana, and other drugs.  Another disturbing trend.

Worse yet is that no one really knows what the long term effects of vaping will be.  A December 2017 study by the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that young adults who use e-cigarettes are more than four times as likely to begin smoking tobacco cigarettes within 18 months as their peers who do not vape.

Scientists are still learning more about how e-cigarettes affect health. However, there is already enough evidence to justify efforts to prevent e-cigarette use by young people. Because most tobacco use starts during adolescence, actions to protect our nation's young people from a lifetime of nicotine addiction are critical.

Working together, we can keep America's youth and young adults safe from the dangers associated with tobacco use and nicotine addiction.  JUULing is a problem. Talk to your kids!!  Here are some tips for doing so.

Know the facts – be patient and be ready to listen!
• Get credible information about e-cigarettes and young people at E-cigarettes.SurgeonGeneral.gov.
• Avoid criticism and encourage an open dialogue.
• Remember, your goal is to have a conversation, not to deliver a lecture.
• It’s OK for your conversation to take place over time, in bits and pieces - Find the right moment.
• A more natural discussion will increase the likelihood that your teen will listen. Rather than saying “we need to talk,” you might ask your teen what he or she thinks about a situation you witness together,
such as: Seeing someone use an e-cigarette in person or in a video; Passing an e-cigarette shop when you are walking or driving; Seeing an e-cigarette advertisement in a store or magazine or on the internet.

Let your teen know why you don’t want them to use e-cigarettes.
• Science shows that e-cigarettes contain ingredients that are addictive and could harm different parts of your body.
• The teen brain is still developing, which means teens are more vulnerable to addiction.
• E-cigarettes contain chemicals that are harmful. When teens use e-cigarettes, they breathe in tiny particles that can harm their lungs.
• The cloud that people exhale from e-cigarettes can expose all to chemicals that are not safe to breathe.
• Using nicotine during teen years may make it harder to concentrate, learn, or control impulses.
• Nicotine can train your brain to be more easily addicted to other drugs like meth and cocaine.

Many teens are already hooked and most have tried it.  Just being honest…  Most of all, tell your teen that you are not trying to scare them but nothing is more important to you (as their parent) than their health and safety.

We can beat this.  “We all have challenges. We have to face them, embrace them, defy them, and conquer them” ~Victoria Arlen

Until next time,
Steve Morford
Principal – Spearfish High School