By Julie Johansen
Parents and guardians of youth in fifth through 12th grades were invited to attend a presentation on youth vaping prevention at Cottonwood Elementary on Thursday evening.
The presentation was given by Shawna Carroll, a member of the USU Extension Be EPIC team. This team received a grant to implement an e-cigarette and vape prevention program in 2020-22. This is year two of this program for Southeastern Utah, which includes Carbon, Emery and Grand counties.
The slideshow presentation on Thursday began with a graph that showed that the percentage of students using in the past 30 days in 2021. Southeastern Utah one of the highest in the state at 12.9%.
The generations of vaping has grown from a disposable, one-time use to the most popular, Pods or Mods, which are rechargeable and refillable. There are very minimal regulations by the FDA at this time.
One of the biggest myths is that they are just vapors, which is not true; rather, they are aerosols that are toxic to the respiratory system. A list of the ingredients in e-cigs include formaldehyde, nicotine, nickel, lead and propylene glycol.
The incidents of using e-cigs as a means to overall tobacco use showed that 75% of students using tobacco first used e-cigs or vapes. Caroll also discussed the physical and mental side effects of vaping. Cardiovascular and pulmonary risk factors are high with the use of e-cigs.
Carroll explained that vaping accessories are hiding in plain sight. However, the three highest protective practices are family attachment, belief in moral values and prosocial involvement.
While attendance was sparse at the presentation, the usu.edu website can help anyone who desires to study this. Contacts for Southeastern Utah are Carroll in Emery County, Josie Hatch for Carbon County and Jenna Hawks in Grand County. Extension agents in these counties can also provide additional information.