Digital engagement done right helps parents connect with confidence.
E-cigarette use has taken off among youth, possibly due to lack of understanding about the behavior and its risks to health. Children most often turn to their parents or other adult influencers for information about health, so imagine yourself in the following scenarios. Would you know what to do next?
- Backpack Clean-up
You’re helping your teen sort through the mess in her backpack and a pen-like device you’ve never seen before falls out. You both look at it and then each other.
- New Store in Town
You’re driving a familiar route with your children and notice a vape store is now open. Your 12-year-old asks, “What do they sell there?”
- Peer Pressure
Your child seeks you out because a friend has tried e-cigarettes and thinks they’re great. He wants to know what you think.
Tongue-tied? Before you find yourself in one of these or a similar situation equip yourself with information. It’s out there
Let’s start our own conversation with three quick questions.
In December 2016, the Office of the Surgeon General released E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults, the U.S. government’s first comprehensive report on the subject. In his preface to the report, Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy states:
E-cigarette use among U.S. youth and young adults is now a major public health concern… These products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States, surpassing conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and hookahs. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain.
For ICF, supporting the surgeon general’s very clear statement of the risks meant transforming the rest of the 300-page scientific study into meaningful, actionable material for worry-weary, time-pressed, adult influencers. Expertise in tobacco-prevention counter measures and evidence-based communications strategies produced materials that are available online 24x7:
Usage trends suggest that even if you haven’t already faced a teachable moment about e-cigarettes, odds are you will. The Know the Risks website was designed for easy consumption of the critical facts from the surgeon general’s report by those in a position to influence today’s youth. Getting educated is the first step toward stemming the tide on teens’ newest tobacco product of choice.