Vaping 101: Information for Parents/Guardians and Educators

We will post information on the ever-changing landscape of electronic cigarettes and dangers associated with vape use by our youth. We will share information and articles from trusted, verified sources that you will be able to review to be better informed. Youth who have parents/guardians who talk with them about substance use are 50% less likely to use substances. Talk, they hear you.

For Quick facts on the Risks of E-Cigarettes for Kids, Teens and Young Adults Click here.


Video added 2/21/20 at 5:00pm

We already know from a 2019 national survey of over 42,000 youth that 24.3% of 8th graders, 41% of 10th graders and 45.6% of 12th graders have tried vaping at some point in their lifetime, but why is this important? Why is it dangerous for them to experiment with vaping products?

Benzoic acid is an ingredient added to the nicotine during manufacturing. It is one of the components used in popular vaping liquirs which can “mellow” the flavor of the nicotine that is inhaled. During the manufacturing process benzoic acid is added to the nicotine to reduce the harshness when inhaled.

If you are reducing the harshness of nicotine, which is highly addictive, and youth are experimenting at a very high rate (12.2% of 8th graders, 25% of 10th graders and 30.9% of 12th graders reporting vaping in the last 30 days), this leads to an increased chance of nicotine addiction.


In an article published by the Center for Disease Control, with content from the Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

If anyone can speak firsthand about the significant rise in e-cigarette use by kids, teens, and young adults, it’s someone who works with them every day. Lauren W., a high school teacher in Pennsylvania, often hears her students talking about using e-cigarettes. But when it comes to the dangers of nicotine and addiction for young people, she does not believe they really understand how dangerous e-cigarettes are for their health.

“I talk to them about the risks all the time,” she says, “and those talks reveal that they have never really thought about it.”

As someone who can influence young people, Lauren is doing what she can to teach them about the harms e-cigarette use can have on them. “They are always interested when I pull up research and start listing off findings,” she says.


Young people are also more likely to pay attention if the adults in their lives who they trust and respect are willing to talk. Teachers and administrators can use health classes and assemblies this upcoming school year to invite students to ask questions about e-cigarettes. There are many e-cigarette prevention programs teachers can use in their classrooms to let students know about the risks of e-cigarette use.


  • E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.
  • While e-cigarettes have the potential to benefit some people and harm others, scientists still have a lot to learn about whether e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.
  • If you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, don’t start.
  • Additional research can help understand long-term health effects.

30th Annual CADCA Leadership Forum

During the 30th Annual Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Leadership Forum members of the Stokes Citizens coalition attended breakout sessions designed to increase our understanding and knowledge of a variety of substances and issues that affect Stokes County youth and adults.

The following links will take you to the notes/posts we took related to those breakout sessions. Please use the Contact Us form on our main page, or Facebook messenger, to get more information for topics that you are interested in.

CADCA Breakout Session: Put An End to ENDS- Youth Vaping and How Coalitions Can Fight Back

Using Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), commonly referred to as vaping, is an emerging trend among youth across the country, and community coalitions are working hard to address it. National data suggests that youth past 30-day use of nicotine delivered via vaping devices roughly doubled from 2017 to 2018. This session provided an overview of the strategies in which DFC grant recipients are engaging around vaping prevention, including collecting data on attitudes and use, engaging youth, and building capacity within the community to shed light on this new trend. During this session there an opportunity for participants to share ideas on how to address vaping in their local communities and to discuss emerging findings on the impacts of vaping on youth.

Yearly reports published each February by Drug Free Communities across the nation had an increase of 28% when mentioning youth vape use from 17% of all reports in 2018 to 47% of all reports in 2019. This type of growth is backed by the Monitoring the Future Survey.

Key Strategies to Adress Youth Vape Use



  • Provide Information: providing information to youth, parents/guardians and adults who engage students at the school level will increase awareness of the dangers and risks associated with use.
  • Enhancing Skills: providing youth with the skills to avoid use is an important step but also providing adults with the ability to inform and educate youth with facts is essential.
  • Changing Policies/Consequences: changing disciplinary actions to match the changing landscape of vape use is key. Adding education components will provide students with the opportunity to be educated and informed regarding the decisions they make.

If you would like more information about ways you can address youth vape use please use the contact us form on the bottom of our homepage

CADCA Breakout Session: Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine Safety, Engaging Youth About Responsible Medicine Use

Through an information session we learned of an over-the-counter medication safety curriculum sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and Scholastic. The information shared here is essential when we work with community leaders, parents and guardians, in regards to the storage and securing of OTC in the home.

This curriculum can be delivered in small groups in as little as 45 minutes but can be expanded to include more information for a three hour session. There are promotional items, literature and engaging small group sessions designed to inform and educate about issues related to unsecured OTC.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines, when taken as directed are generally safe, but when taken incorrectly can cause significant harm. Research suggests that children begin to self-administer medication at age 11. Over 20,000 kids per year need medical attention due to medicine misuse.



CADCA Breakout Session: Vaping Prevention

#GearUp: Collaborating Around Vape Prevention Efforts Through Media and Policy

Through speaking with community members, school age youth, health providers and service agencies in Stokes we understand that vaping/e-cigarette use by youth is an issue. By attending this session we learned how to inform youth and parents/guardians about the dangers associated with nicotine use by vape devices. We were informed about best practices regarding sharing information to youth to help encourage them to make safer/healthier decisions.

Representatives from Muskegon Drug Free Community shared their success and challenges during their efforts to address vape use by youth in their area. Through their session we were able to gain knowledge on these best practices:

1) Know how to successfully implement coalition activities through social media practices, such as partnership development with local media sectors, and ways to leverage social media platforms.

2) Engage youth in creating messaging, leveraging partnerships and rallying around prevention efforts that result in community change.

3) Collaborate with key stakeholders to develop a universal anti-vape school policy that strives for an alternative to suspension.

For information on how you can talk to your youth about vaping or other issues use the contact us form at the bottom of our main page, through our Facebook page or