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Back to School 2022

Posted on 09/26/2022 @ 08:00 AM

By: Tobacco Free Kids

Big Tobacco continues to lure kids with flavored e-cigarettes, hooking them with massive doses of nicotine. These addictive products can impact kids’ brain development, learning, and ability to focus in school. Overall, nearly one in ten (9.1%) Hispanic high school students are current users of any tobacco product. E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among Hispanic high school students in 2021. As students go back to school, know how to stop youth nicotine addiction before it starts.

SIGNS OF VAPING TO LOOK OUT FOR

• If your kid is spending more time alone than usual or coming up with excuses to frequently step-away – those may be some early warning signs.

• E-cigarettes can also deliver huge doses of nicotine that can quickly addict kids. Watch for changes in behavior that indicate addiction, like changes in appearance, mood, sleeping patterns or even impulse control.

• The smell: instead of the smell of traditional cigarettes, with e-cigarettes you may only notice a faint, but sweet scent like a whiff of bubble gum or strawberry cheesecake. E-cigarettes come in thousands of flavors, many like candy or fruit or mint.

• Watch for an unexplained cough or an increase in thirst.

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR KID

• One of the most important things is for parents to educate themselves and have a conversation with kids about e-cigarettes, rather than lecturing them. Kids appreciate a frank and honest discussion.

• Keep the touch points quick & avoid the big “sit-down.” Quick, frequent conversations can be more effective than one big sit-down. There’s often too much pressure in a serious sit-down, and your kids may tune you out.

• Remember: it’s fine to not have all the answers! Whether it’s about vaping or about how to combat peer pressure, you’re not all-powerful. So, you can admit that you’re on this journey together and that you can figure it out… together.

• It’s also critical for parents to set a good example by not using any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and by keeping your home and vehicles tobacco-free.

RESOURCES FOR HELP

• If you think your child is using e-cigarettes – especially if they are showing signs of nicotine addiction – it’s important to get help from your pediatrician or other medical provider.

• Check out LULAC’s tobacco prevention toolkit, available in English and Spanish, at https://lulac.org/livetobaccofree/

• Share information on quitting e-cigarettes at teen.smokefree.gov. Truth Initiative also has a great text program to help youth vapers quit at truthinitiative.org/thisisquitting.

• Help educate other parents and youth about this public health crisis by sharing information on their social networks and contacting their elected officials. Local, state and federal officials need to know that you want them to help protect our kids by eliminating all flavored e-cigarettes

SHARE YOUR STORY

Has smoking, vaping or other tobacco use affected you or your family, school or community? We want to hear from you! Tell us your story on takedowntobacco.org/share-your-story.

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