With e-cigarette use in Iowa high schools considered at epidemic levels, the American Lung Association is launching a new effort designed to reduce vaping by teens — and even younger.
Alyssa DePhillips, health promotions manager for the Lung Association in Iowa, says protecting lung health is vital. “We’re excited about this public awareness campaign called ‘Get Your Head Out of the Cloud!’” DePhillips says. “It’s really designed to give parents the facts about e-cigarettes and support conversations before the kids are starting to vape, or before they’re offered vapes from their friends.”
The campaign is focused on kids between the ages of 10 and 14. “We think that’s pretty young, parents might think that’s pretty young, but I think parents would be surprised that youth are being offered these devices at younger ages,” DePhillips says. “Sometimes parents don’t really know what to look for with these devices or they don’t know what signs to look for if a youth is using.”
The Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2019 found that 20-percent of Iowa high school students used e-cigarettes. The goal is to reduce youth vaping levels by 10% by 2025. While many Iowa students attended classes virtually earlier this year — and many are still learning online — DePhillips says the coronavirus pandemic is bringing a mixed bag of news about the popularity of vaping.
“Less youths may be experimentally trying the products but the youth that are addicted are still very much addicted to these products,” she says, “and they may be using them more frequently because they have more free time and more time on their hands.” The campaign includes free educational resources and guides, conversation starters, and facts about e-cigarettes at TalkAboutVaping.org.
Matt Kelley – Radio Iowa – September 28, 2020.