VapeEducate is an immersive curriculum geared toward middle and high school students, as this is often the age when student begin experimenting with vaping. However, the information provided in these courses can also benefit anyone looking to learn about the dangers of vaping, including parents, teachers, principals, and community leaders. VapeEducate’s curriculum is designed to support parents and schools in helping their students through the curriculum. The course is also an excellent resource for adults to increase their awareness of the dangers of vaping. In the VapeEducate curriculum, there are seven (7) lessons total. These lesson topics include vaping health risks, how marketing targets the young, vape addiction, society, vape and you, vaping and marijuana, THC, etc., vaping timeline, and current events & COVID-19. Just as any strong teacher will intellectually prepare a lesson before teaching their students, it is wise for adults who plan to share this content with young people to do their research on the topic beforehand. This way, they can be prepared to answer students’ questions, lead valuable conversations, and be a strong liaison between the students and VapeEducate’s program. Students may need support processing this content and may have personal questions that only a trusted adult can answer. Therefore, adults must prepare by learning this content to best support their students.
For anyone – students or adults- who take VapeEducate’s immersive course, they will be led through seven (7) lessons. Each lesson has valuable information embedded about the many dangers of vape use. Short quizzes throughout each lesson keep participants engaged to ensure the retention of the course information. Once the participant has completed a unit, they must also complete an assessment and pass with a minimum score of 80%. Once this assessment is complete, the scores are to the school, parent, or community group – whoever decided to have people participate in this training. This training equips students to make wise decisions about vape use, and it also can inform parents and school staff with valuable information to help guide young people in navigating the pressure of vape use. The immersive curriculum provides valuable supplemental tools to support further understanding of vape use.
If you are a parent or school member unsure about VapeEducate and want to learn more, you can sign up for an online course demo before deciding if you want to purchase the program. This way, you can get a good feel for the content as well as the usability of the platform and can feel comfortable that the curriculum will be an asset to you and your student’s education. On the Demo website, VapeEducate has conveniently removed quizzes, timers, reflection questions, and tests so you can quickly view the course content.
As families prepare for fall and for school to be back in session, there seems to be an endless list of to-dos to complete before the first day of school. You need to order required books, get school supplies, go back to school shopping… There’s a lot to do, which can feel overwhelming for parents and students. Although it may not be the most fun preparation task, it is also important to prioritize conversations with your children to ensure they are prepared to navigate tricky social situations. Especially if you have teenage children, they will likely experience peer pressure and be asked to do things they shouldn’t. They may also make unwise decisions about alcohol, drug use, or vaping. In this article, we aim to support you in preparing for conversations to educate your children about the dangers of vaping.
1. Educate Yourself
The first thing you should do in preparing for these conversations is to educate yourself on vaping. Ensure that you are prepared for this conversation by fully understanding the facts about vape use. Do your research and think about points that may be especially compelling to your child. You know your child best and which angle you can take for this conversation to be the most effective for them. Maybe your child prioritizes their grades, and vape use is proven to drop the GPAs of students who engage in vaping. In this case, that can be a perfect angle to emphasize when talking to your child. Our website vapeeducate.com is a wonderful resource to give yourself valuable background information and facts to bring into your conversation.
Additionally, you can also reach out to your child’s school and ask if they currently provide any education to students and families about youth vaping prevention. Hopefully, there are some school vaping resources that the school can share with you. If this isn’t the case, you may be interested in providing anti-vaping lessons to young people with all the new information you’ve learned. The more young people understand the risks and dangers of vaping, the more likely they will make the right decision and say no to vaping themselves.
2. Point Out What is Contained in Vape Devices
Although we want to believe that young people would not consume something when they do not know what is in it, this isn’t always the case. Teenage judgment is not always the best, and letting your children know what is in vapes and how it can affect their bodies can be beneficial. When users put a pre-filled pod or e-liquid/e-juice into their vape and then smoke from it, they are also placing nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, and other chemicals into their bodies through inhalation. Vapes also make an aerosol that contains nicotine, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals, including nickel, tin, and lead. Not to mention volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles that are brought into your body when you inhale, and diacetyl, a flavoring linked to developing lung disease. Make sure you understand and explain how these things can negatively affect your child’s body, and why they should never enter your body in the first place. Instead of simply listing off all the bad things in vapes, be sure to make these facts real by having conversations about how these different toxins can impact overall health. The more your child can see themselves in these situations, the better, so perhaps looking up some stories to share with your child about the adverse effects on real teenagers and how it impacts them day to day can help them understand the reality of these dangers.
3. Explain Why Vaping is Bad for You
One of the biggest reasons vaping is so bad for young people is the nicotine in vapes. Nicotine is highly addictive and makes young people reliant on using their vapes consistently. Many young people may insist that they only use vapes “socially,” but due to the highly addictive nature of vapes, this is unlikely to be the case over an extended period of time. Nicotine can also damage the brain, especially for teenagers whose brains are not yet fully developed. This damage can lead to a lower ability to control impulses, higher chances of addiction, and developing mood disorders. Nicotine can also impact how synapses are formed, which can harm the ability of young people to control their attention and learning. Aside from the effects of vaping, when e-cigarette batteries are defective, they have been known to cause fires and explosions. In addition, being around those who vape can cause secondhand health damage.
4. Discuss the Peer Pressure
During teenage years, peer pressure is one of the most challenging things to navigate. Teenagers tend to value their status and want to appear as “cool” as possible. Therefore, if all of their friends are vaping and offer them a turn, it can be challenging to say no. Their brains are also not fully developed, so their ability to make a sound judgment is also not at its best. When you have this conversation with your kids, explain that you understand that it can be tough to say no to your friends and empathize with the need to feel cool around your friends. Walking through the pros and cons of vaping with your child can be beneficial.
Help young adults think through how vaping could negatively impact their daily life, whether through their ability to perform their best in sports, do well in school, or prioritize their long-term health. Help them understand that the best way to care about their friends is to ensure that you are not putting them in danger, which they can be by smoking a vape around them.
Vaping has become increasingly popular with teenagers, spiking to 5.4 million middle and high school users in 2019. This habit has become popularized for many reasons. Vapes are trendy, do not have the stigma that traditional cigarettes do, and are sold in flavors that attract young buyers. Vape use can be subtle and scentless, making it easy for young people to vape without others knowing. They are also incredibly addictive, as they still contain nicotine as traditional cigarettes and are easy to use as they come with nicotine cartridges in various flavors and concentrations. Reports say that 1 out of 4 teenagers has vaped. Although vaping can seem like an attractive alternative to traditional cigarettes, it still has long-lasting and concerning effects on users’ health.
To provide an environment conducive to teaching and learning, schools must take the initiative to educate their students about the dangers of vaping. Teenagers’ brains are still developing, and their desire to take risks regardless of the outcome is at an all-time high in their middle and high school years. Therefore, when an attractive, trendy alternative to cigarette smoking hit the market, it was a no-brainer that young people would want to be the first to try out this “cool” product.
Students primarily want to vape in settings where they are not being supervised by adults but can be observed by peers. This behavior will attempt to boost their social status while avoiding getting in trouble. Although it can be challenging to identify and crack down on vape use since it can be hidden and subtle, educators can teach young people about the adverse effects of vape use. They can create dialogue and complete anti-vaping courses that present information on the seemingly harmless peer pressure that can result in lasting health problems.
Several additional reasons outline why schools should teach young people about vapes’ harmful lasting effects.
• Vape Devices are as Addictive as Cigarettes
Teenagers make assumptions that vaping is less addictive than traditional cigarettes. However, the contrary is true – vaping is as addictive as smoking. One vape cartridge contains approximately the same amount of nicotine as twenty (20) cigarettes. Teenagers may assume that vaping is less harmful than traditional cigarette smoking because it does not produce smelly smoke. The misconceptions that vaping is not addictive or dangerous often lead to continual use, leading to an addictive habit.
• Vaping Negative Health Effects
A habit of vaping can cause one’s health to decline. Vaping can create problems that are not traditionally seen in young people. These health issues can likely cause severe health problems when vaping devices continue to be used. In addition to nicotine, vapes are filled with toxic substances, leading to numerous health issues. Vape use can heighten blood pressure, make a more rapid heart rate, and significantly increase the likelihood that one could have a heart attack. These are not typical health effects for young people to experience, especially when they are used to leading healthy lifestyles. However, when young people use vaping devices recreationally, they can experience all or some of these adverse health effects. The more we teach young people how vaping can decrease their overall health, the more they will think twice before using the device.
• Vaping Can Have Deadly Consequences
One of vaping’s scariest and nerve-wracking characteristics is that they seem harmless. The devices are small and often look like portable computer flash drives. It is easy for the uninformed individual to think these devices are harmless when passed around the school bathrooms, classrooms, or outside of school. After all, they don’t have any REAL smoke coming from them- how bad can they really be? In fact, the use of these devices can have devastating consequences. Since vape use has been on the rise, there has also been a spike in deaths and lung injuries associated with vape use. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 68 deaths and 2,807 vape-related lung injuries were reported in February 2020. During a time of discovery, excitement, and hope for the future, young people should not have to withstand the lifelong effects that begin as a social habit. Many young people are highly active and at peaks in their athletic careers; however, vape use can harm this success. The effects of vape use can be long-lasting and sometimes fatal, and therefore we must give young people all the knowledge possible to make better decisions when offered the choice to vape.
Vaping is exceptionally subtle and often difficult to identify in schools due to the devices’ lack of smell and small packaging. Therefore, it becomes critical that educators do everything they can to stop it when it is observed. We need to provide our young people with the education and awareness to make informed and wise decisions about vape use. In a time when peer pressure is at its highest, providing a base of knowledge to draw from can be the determining factor in whether students become addicted to vaping. Schools have a captive audience with students and can positively impact students’ decisions not to vape. VapeEducate provides schools worldwide with the necessary resources to provide healthy, productive, and supportive learning environments for their students. VapeEducate can help your school, too.
It is safe to agree that parenting is well and truly the toughest and most complicated job in the world. If most parents had their way, their children would stay young forever. This is because as children begin their teenage years and eventually grow into adulthood, the task of parenting becomes monumentally difficult.
Nowadays, the level of peer pressure between teens can only be referred to as crazy. It is no news that at the teen level, children tend to be as adventurous as they possibly can in an effort to tick off their “bucket list”. During this stage (usually between 13 and 19), children develop and mature physically, emotionally, mentally, morally and socially. This is the period during which your child struggles to build an identity or personality, and the identity he/she tries is influenced monumentally by the environment and social pressures. One of such social pressures which is rapidly gaining popularity is the issue of vaping.
What is Vaping?
The legalization of cannabis in various parts of the United States and the world, in general, has inherently led to the growth of the vaping industry. In recent years, vaping – the act of inhaling and exhaling or vapor (aerosol) through the use of hand-held battery-powered devices such as e-cigarettes, pens, and pods – has taken the world, youths especially by storm. Its increasing popularity has led to continuous innovation in an effort to create the best and most comfortable method of vaping, which is considered by teens nowadays as a form of bonding, association or fun.
What most people do not know is that vaping is seriously harmful to health. Most of the liquids (commonly referred to as e-juice or e-liquid) vaporized and inhaled from these devices contain nicotine and other additives which are harmful upon ingestion. Vaping, just like traditional cigarettes, comes with a plethora of negative effects including asthma and bronchitis. In addition, it also negatively impacts the development of the brain thereby impacting memory, learning, and focus. Vaping is also a doorway to the consumption of more addictive and illicit drugs. A report published by the CDC confirms that over 4.9 million middle and high school students acknowledged their use of tobacco in 2018, a steep increase from the reported 3.6 million students in 2017.
Due to constant innovation, devices used for vaping (or Juuling as it is sometimes called) are increasingly inconspicuous in look and size, and as such, it is easier for teens to conveniently hide this habit. Also, most vaping devices produce an odorless or flavored smell which makes it increasingly difficult for parents to detect. So, it might be difficult to know whether or not your child vapes, after all, the adventurous nature of teens makes them open to experimentation every now and then.
How then can you know whether or not your child is vaping?
Signs to Show that Your Child is Vaping
As previously mentioned, the vaping industry is constantly innovating and improving vaping devices in an effort to enhance the experience and keep selling. And because teens are the primary consumers of these products, it is important for them to make products that are inconspicuous in size, look, and smell. This, however, does not mean that it is impossible to know whether or not your child is vaping.
With a little bit of vigilance, you can tell for sure whether or not your child is vaping by looking for the following signs.
During vaping, vapor (vaporized e-juice) is pulled from the device into the mouth and then exhaled through the nostrils. Due to the lack of moisture during exhalation, the skin of the nose dries up and eventually cracks and bleeds. Also, e-liquids contain dehydrating chemicals that dry up the inside of the nose, triggering frequent nosebleeds. If your child suffers from frequent nose bleeds, you might want to check twice to make sure it is not as a result of vaping.
This is a somewhat common sign of vaping. People who vape suffer from dehydration – it is a pretty common side effect. One of the chemicals used in making e-juice is Propylene Glycol. This chemical has a dehydrating effect as research has discovered that it holds water molecules in, making absorption by the body impossible. As a result, the vaper is left constantly in need of water to rehydrate the body. So, if you see your child increasingly craving liquids or urinating more often, there is a high chance he/she might be vaping.
The name itself is self-explicit – the tongue of a vaper. To enjoy the flavor of food requires moisture. This explains why we salivate when we perceive the aroma and taste of food. A dry mouth loses its perception of flavour. Constant vaping compromises this perception of flavor because of its ability to dehydrate and dry up moisture. The absence of flavor perception as a result of vaping is what is referred to as Vaper’s Tongue. So, if your teen suddenly starts enjoying unusually spicy foods or keeps reaching for the salt during meals, this may be a sign that he/she is a vaper.
Combining caffeine and nicotine (found in most vaping devices) may sometimes lead to increased levels of anxiety and/or mood swings. This might cause someone who usually takes coffee or soda to suddenly start avoiding these to reduce these effects. So, if you notice that your child suddenly stops gulping sodas or Starbucks, it could be a call for concern.
Abnormal Pens and Devices
For convenience sake, most vaping and Juuling devices come in a variety of forms. While some resemble traditional pipes, cigars, and cigarettes, others look like pens and USB sticks. Juuls, for example, look like sleek USB sticks and are very inconspicuous. Despite their similarities, most of these devices still look abnormal and unusual. So, if you come across such devices in your home, you should consider it as a red flag.
Apart from the signs discussed above, there are still a number of signs you might want to look for when suspecting your child of vaping – sleep disturbances, unusual emotional tantrums, unexplained sweet scents, pneumonia and discarded Juul pods and atomizers. The most important thing to do, however, is to educate our children on how risky vaping truly is. Most of them vape for fun with little or no knowledge of the inherent risk.
While others argue that vaping is better than smoking, the World Health Organization stresses the effects of vaping and even goes ahead to suggest that vaping is a gateway to addiction for teens and young adults. It is therefore important to help educate our children on this issue by creating Vape Education Programs geared towards helping children learn about the dangers of vaping.