By signing up for the PAVe Parent Toolkit, you are joining a grassroots movement of parents across the country fighting to protect our kids from the predatory practices of e-cigarette companies like Juul and its copycats: Big Tobacco 2.0!
We three moms formed PAVe in the spring of 2018 after we realized our teen sons were Juuling, something at the time we knew very little about. Then we discovered that a Juul representative came into our kids’ school through an outside anti-addiction group—without the knowledge of teachers, administrators, or parents—and repeatedly told our then-ninth graders during a presentation that Juul, a product intended for adults, was “totally safe”.
That’s when we felt we had to take action-and we’re grateful that you feel the same way.
The current youth vaping epidemic is the most serious adolescent public-health crisis our country has faced in decades and it continues to unfold before our eyes in real time. The most recent CDC figures, already outdated, show that almost 4 million young people are using e-cigarettes like Juul with a shocking rate of growth: between 2017-2018, there was a 78% rise in use by high-school students and, perhaps even more troubling, a 48% rise in use by middle-school students.
The FDA has the authority to remove flavors from the market immediately, but has done nothing more than talk tough. Meanwhile, Juul’s mango pods remain for sale at stores across the country (not all check ID, as they should) despite the company’s insistence that flavors like these—that research has proven hook kids—are no longer sold in retail stores. Plus, Juul left its top-seller, kid-favorite mint on the market, anyway. There is every reason to believe that when the CDC releases new figures this fall, the youth-use numbers will be even more staggering.
That’s why it’s not only urgent but also timely that we parents get involved. We already know that nicotine has a damaging effect on developing brains, rewiring them for further addiction. And every day there is more scientific evidence about how the toxic chemicals in flavored vapes like Juul can cause cardiovascular damage and other possible side effects. We can not allow our kids to be human guinea pigs for the Juul experiment!
We hope our basic toolkit will educate you about this issue and empower you to do something about it. Maybe that means printing out educational materials and sharing them with your school principal or school board. Maybe that means writing a letter-to-the-editor of your local paper. Maybe that means putting local vape shops on notice that parents are willing to report those who sell Juul to minors.
Every action that you take—no matter how small—is amplified by our growing chorus of parents who are sending a collective, powerful message: We will not allow Big Tobacco 2.0 to take advantage of our kids, turning them into an entire generation of nicotine addicts!
Let’s work together to protect them!
PAVe – August 28, 2019.