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Close Up Of Teenagers With Mobile Phone Vaping and In Park

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — Across the country, people are becoming more aware of the impact that vaping can have on teens. In fact, Utah lawmakers recently proposed a bill that would ban the sale of most flavored electronic cigarette products, in hopes of reducing the number of teen users. Alabama Cooperative Extension System educators are doing their part to bring awareness to this issue.

Through Alabama Extension’s Escape Vapes, teenagers, parents and other adults learn more about the health risks associated with vaping. Adrienne Duke-Marks, a Human Sciences Extension specialist, said it is important that parents and other adults know the dangers of vaping and how to talk to teens about them.

“Parents should talk to their children about vaping early on,” Duke-Marks said. “More importantly, they should help them understand that there is flavored nicotine in those devices, which can cause addiction. There have been many social media accounts dedicated to documenting young people detoxing from vaping. It is more challenging than most people anticipate, so, it is best not to start.”

Understanding Vaping

Escape Vapes offers four in-person workshops. The “Escape Vapes: Empowering Adults” workshop is designed for parents, guardians and adults who work with teens. According to Duke-Marks, who is also an associate professor in the Auburn University College of Human Sciences, this workshop teaches parents about recognizing devices, the nicotine found in the devices, ways that vaping impacts physical and mental health and other important topics. Those interested in scheduling a workshop in their community can contact their area’s Alabama Extension human sciences regional agent. Each agent’s contact information is available in the website directory at www.aces.edu.

In addition to the workshops, Alabama Extension has many online resources for parents, guardians and other adults. These resources cover a variety of vaping-related topics including health risks, costs, general e-cigarette information and how to talk to teens. This year, Extension professionals added several new publications to these resources: the Helping Parents Understand Vaping series. Duke-Marks said this series is designed to educate parents on important topics related to vaping.

“This series is really geared to cover multiple issues that parents may be dealing with or have questions about,” Duke-Marks said. “For example, we have a publication dedicated to assisting parents as they help their child quit. We also have one that focuses on ways to protect young children from accidental poisonings from vaping devices that may belong to babysitters or older teen siblings.”

More Information

For more information on these workshops and resources, visit the Escape Vapes Programs and Resources web page at www.aces.edu. You can also contact the human sciences regional agent in your area for information about Escape Vapes.