The American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, is working with over 100 schools across the country to give students the opportunity to demand accountability by e-cigarette companies for spending millions marketing products directly to youth. January 16 launches the American Heart Association's national #QuitLying Day with schools holding conversations and pushing for change across the country. Events will continue through January 31.
In conjunction with #QuitLying Day and the fight against the youth vaping epidemic, the Middle Tennessee American Heart Association has been awarded a grant from the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation to launch anti-vaping campaigns in the middle and high schools of Montgomery and Stewart Counties. Elements of the comprehensive campaign will include curriculum, materials, educational video creation and an evaluation consultant. These local anti-vaping efforts will commence in the coming weeks.
The number of teens who vape has more than doubled in just the past two years, to 5 million, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. More than 1 in 4 high school students report vaping. E-cigarettes come in thousands of flavors that strongly appeal to kids, including "strawberry watermelon," "cotton candy" and "mint berry." Ninety-seven percent of current youth who vape report using a flavored product.
Despite what teens have been told, vaping products are not safe for youth. In addition, e-cigarettes can contain unusually high levels of nicotine - in fact, one e-cigarette pod can contain at least as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Youth who vape are particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction, which rewires the developing brain.
All concerned members of our community are encouraged to visit QuitLying.org and sign the American Heart Association's letter to Big Vape demanding change for the youth health.