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In this episode, you’ll discover… 

  • How the rarely-talked about vaping epidemic now affects more than 1 out of 4 high school students (2:33) 
  • 12 signs your teenager might be vaping (9:02) 
  • WHy even taking on rip from a vape can cause a lifelong addiction to nicotine (11:59) 
  • The weird way nicotine “infects” an adolescent brain and makes it harder to concentrate and feel happy (12:56) 
  • How your kids can easily order vaping products online even if they’re not 18 (20:08) 
  • 3 simple strategies to help your children kick their nicotine addiction (without shaming them or being judgemental) (22:01) 

If you’d like to reach out to Donna for additional support and information, you can send her an email at tobaccocessation@fmchealth.org

Set Free: A Woman’s Guide to Clarity, Freedom, & God’s Endless Love has been officially released! You can order a copy on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Set-Free-Clarity-Freedom-Endless/dp/1664226869

If you’re ready to rise up and become the best version of yourself, check out the 12-month mindset and accountability experience that will help you rise up, click on the just breathe link at jillallencoaching.com

If you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it’s like to juggle a crazy busy life, then go to the Fit & Fierce link at jillallencoaching.com and become unstoppable with us. 

Or, if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing our faith, join our Just Breathe Facebook Group.

Read Full Transcript

Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.

(00:35): Hey there gang . Welcome the find your fierce love that you are with us. Once again, we are finishing up the series called not my kid this week with a super powerful message. I know that we've all been guilty of thinking that or even saying it, but being a mom of five kids, I have to tell you, we've learned to embrace this roller coaster ride of parenting. But before we kick off this episode, I have to thank you for your love and support and allowing me to be a part of your life for tuning in not just on the podcast world, but also for snagging, the copy of my new books that free as it is now available on Amazon. And I know you are just going to love it. We're actually starting a book club in August. So I invite you to join us on that.

(01:14): And I just appreciate all your feedback and the reviews. And I love that you share the message with your friends and family. And if you could keep on doing that, it helps reach more women. It impacts more lives and you are a massive part of this movement. So know that you're truly appreciated. So I am loving this series. We have talked about respect and the lack of we've talked about mental health. We've talked about the technology and the social media addiction, and today we are going to dive into vaping. And before you think not my kid, I want you to stick around because it is real. It is everywhere. And we need to be being able to talk about this. And I know that we've all been affected or impacted somehow, and your kids are in the midst of it. And they, I can that have been affected and impacted as well.

(02:03): And you know, we're going to hear, we're going to talk about that here today, with a special guest, my friend, Donna Cunningham, she is a certified tobacco treatment specialist. She's a nurse practitioner. She is employed by Fairfield medical center as a tobacco cessation coordinator. And I'm just so glad that she is here with us today. Getting real talking about this, I don't know, for lack of a better, is it an epidemic? I don't know. Let's not then how are you girl? I'm good. Thank you so much for inviting me on today. Yeah, this is going to be so good. Is it, is it an epidemic or am I just throwing that word out there? No, no, you're correct. It is an epidemic. It is, unfortunately, you know, the numbers are just skyrocketing with the amount of teenagers that are vaping. And I actually have some numbers in front of me if we want to kind of go over those a little bit.

(02:52): Yeah, let's do, let's just dive in and hit this hard because I really want parents to wake up. I want us to us the tools to help our kids as to what they're facing. And I just don't want to walk around asleep anymore. Like we need to be aware. So yeah, straight shoot the numbers. So current vaping among high school students in 2017 was 11.7% by 2019. It was 27.5%. That is one in four students babying and high school. There was a decrease down in 2020, but I don't want to get excited about that because 2020 was a crazy year. Generally kids are starting baby. When they're around their peers, you know, somebody says, oh, you're, you're stressed about this test. Take a hit, take a rip. You know, Joel, you'll it'll have they say ripper Joel? Yes. There's a lot of different, different terms that they use.

(03:49): So, you know, a lot of times they're with their peers when they start vaping. So 2020, of course they weren't so much with their peers because of the lockdowns and everything. There was also kind of a decrease in the availability of getting to the retail shops where they could buy the vapes. So yeah, that's great. The number went down to 2020, but I'm not holding my breath on that. I think that's an anomaly. When you say one in four, is this the number of kids who have tried it currently is defined as use on at least one day and the past month. Okay. So that, that's how it's measured by the CDC and that's still a huge number. And when you look at middle school, even in 2019, it was 10.5%. So that's one in 10 middle school students having used at least once in the last month.

(04:44): So those numbers have really gone up dramatically. It's kind of been a flip-flop. It used to be that the numbers were higher with smoking combustible cigarettes. I know those numbers have gone down significantly, but the vaping has gone up and, and students that would never have dreamed of smoking a combustible cigarette are trying to vape, not realizing sometimes that it does have nicotine in it and not realizing the dangers associated with it. What entices these kids? I mean, when you mentioned like, okay, you're stressed, go ahead and take a rip. Are they using it as a stress reliever or are they using it too? Because they want to be cool. I mean, what, what entices these kids to grab a hold of this? It's some of, all of that for stress-relief just a bit in what their peers, some are enticed by the fruity sweet flavors that are on the market.

(05:40): So there's a wide variety of different reasons. So it's really hard to pinpoint, you know, we could change it just focusing on one thing. It's multiple things. Yeah. Those numbers hit hard. Yeah. I'm just thinking like, and we're talking 13 year olds, 14 year olds, if you're middle school. Yes, yes. Even down to 12. So it's, so I don't think it's ever too early to start talking to our kids about this, you know, even in grade school or younger, you know, starting the conversation and, and you don't have to have a conversation where you sit down and maybe turn it into a lecture. It can just be an ongoing little conversation about what you know about, or you see an advertisement someplace and just kind of bring that conversation into it and find out what they know, what they're thinking and, and, and giving them some accurate information.

(06:31): Yeah. Because I said, I want to wake parents up and I mean, is there a specific student child that grabs a hold of this? No, there's not. It can be any child. There's a lot of students that will start baking. That would be the type that no one would ever guess that they would, it can be the honor students, the athletes, the popular students, you know, there's, there's, there's no typical students for that. It can affect everyone. And your students, your, your kids know about it. You know, we may think that our kids live in perfect little bubbles, you know, again, the, not my kid, but, but they do, they probably know a lot more about it. Then we as parents do well. I mean, I just know, I mean, listening to my kids and, you know, with five, I mean, we've addressed it and it, you know, it hits home, you know, we talk about it and you know, the kids know every thing, every child knows every kid where to get it, it's in the schools and it's right under our noses. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I think that's where these, I mean, all of us parents are walking around and it's like, oh no, there's no way they're doing it right in front of you. And you don't even realize it. And they're getting away with it at school. Absolutely.

(07:50): The devices, a lot of them are divine should be hidden in plain sight. If you will. Some of the devices look like thumb drives that plug into the computer and they actually blocked into the computer. So they really do look like a thumb drive. There are ones that look like Sharpie markers. There are ones that look like ink pens. There are ones that look like lipstick. There's ones that look like the little containers that have the flavoring that you put in bottles of water. There are so many different devices that can just be assumed to be something completely innocent or a school supply. And, and they're actually vague. And because the, the vapor cloud can dissipate so quickly, you know, a teacher can have their back to the room and be writing on the smart board or, or whatever, or step outside into the hallway to answer somebody at the door.

(08:44): And the kids can take a hit real quick right there in the classroom. Yeah, that's crazy. And I know you mentioned like the sweet smells with 2020 hand sanitizers were everywhere. Absolutely. So you smell something you don't know is a hand sanitizer, is that a vape? What are the signs, the signs of a child vaping, you know, finding, finding the unusual devices. So if you're looking at your kid's desk in the room, you stop in there and you're like, oh, what is that? You know, keeping looking for those things that maybe, okay, this is kind of unusual, behavioral changes, mood swings and nicotine addiction can happen very quickly. And once they become addicted to nicotine, just like what the smoker, they start jonesing for the next, the next kit. So if they're becoming irritable and then, you know, they may take a trip to the bathroom and they come back and they're in a better mood that could be assigned to you might not just chalk it up to a normal teenage hormonal, right.

(09:46): Meteor need to be a winner, memory loss, inability to concentrate, anxiety, being secretive, all of a sudden shortness of breath, especially if I like an athlete. And all of a sudden you notice that they're experiencing shortness of breath or not. Do you mean as well and their practices or, or their, their games or their meat. That could be a sign also complaining of chest pain, abnormal, coughing, or throat clearing, having a lung injury nosebleed, if you notice them speaking and vaping lingo, which is, you know, I recommend that, that parents start learning the vaping lingo. There's a lot of different words and they change on a regular basis. So what would be an example of a vaping lingo? Because different things. I talked about batteries, which is something that's needed for the heating element with their devices, blanks, which has an empty cartridge.

(10:46): Cartridge is another word, a closed pod system, or a refillable system, dab, pins, vapes, disposables thinking, kit dab, rip rips, E draw, Joel drag. Those are all terms that are used when they're talking about taking an inhale of a vape to e-juice liquid. E-Liquid, there's a lot of different nicknames for Joel's such as Julius Caesar, Julia Pouliot ju ju mods is another word that you may hear them talk about. Nick, which is what they say for nicotine. A Nick's stick can be one of the, the vaping devices pods, which is one of the little cartridges that has the e-liquid juice in it that they put into their device, tough bars, skins, which have like a sticker thing that they put on their device bait. So there's, there's lots of different words. And like I said, they can change fairly often. So the list is long. Yeah. Yeah. Like this is an intense, this is a big deal.

(11:58): Oh my gosh. Well, how can you differentiate between I'm going to go hit or Joel, or take a rip with my friends on a Friday night versus the addiction, because I I've heard that vaping is very addictive when you're talking about the nicotine, how can you differentiate between the two or is there a difference? There's really not much difference because nicotine has been widely recognized as the most addictive stops that on the planet, even more addictive than heroin. So someone starts out thinking, I'm just going to, to Joel with my friends on a Friday night, may very quickly become addicted. So, you know, I would not, you know, I would not be happy with my child even saying that they were socially once in a blue moon doing it because knowing how quickly it can turn into an addiction. And then the addiction is, you know, again with the irritability, the memory issue and nicotine has long been recognized as being dangerous for the developing adolescent mind, because our brains are still developing to our mid twenties and using nicotine during that time that the brain is still developing, can have long-term impact on ability to concentrate on memory, on mood concentration.

(13:17): So, you know, there, there are definitely risks involved with using this. I mean, I can just think of some things like maybe when you, when you talked about being secretive, hanging out in their room, I mean, to me, I mean, that would be a really good sign. If you're vaping in your bedroom, you're more than likely addicted because at that point it's not socially, right. If you're, you're doing it by yourself and you're your bedroom or you're sneaking off to the bathroom. Absolutely. Okay. So something I heard a couple of weeks ago and I wasn't sure. And you mentioned it even here today, the DAP pens, the dapping, is there a different dab dab the lingo, but yeah, let's kind of go individually. Yes. It's with using marijuana THC and the vape pens. So that's more than just using the nicotine juice. That's adding marijuana THC to it.

(14:17): So kicking it up a notch. Yes, no. What they're even putting in, because again, talking with kids and going through all of this, and you're in the midst of all this chaos, kids are getting this everywhere. I mean, we're talking gas stations, we're talking parking lots, we're talking in the school bathroom and they can come home with anything at any, any time. And I'm going to assume a lot of these things are reusable, refillable. Do they know what they're putting in or what they even refilled it? Some of them don't know there was a study done and there was, I'm trying to remember the exact percentage, but it was, it was large. It was something like 27% or more, did not realize that Joel, which is a brand of electronic devices always has nicotine in it. So they thought that they did not realize that they were putting nicotine in their body.

(15:11): And again, there's even some studies that have been done on some devices that have been labeled as nicotine free and they did find nicotine in it. So these devices are, have not been regulated well by the FDA. They just recently became under FDA regulation. And they're just starting to enforce some of these things. So they didn't have the close labeling the accurate labeling that they should have. Okay. No, I mean, I think that's just, it's just, it's scary. I'm sitting here and I, and all I can I keep saying is, wow. Wow. And I thankful for, for people like you, who I know are fighting for our kids and getting into the schools and making and helping parents become more aware. So I can't, again, I can't thank you enough for being here. What is the, and again, this is all kind of new and studies are all coming out.

(16:03): I mean, the impact that vaping has on our health long-term, I mean, you talked about the memory, the fog, and you know, some of the delays and things like that, but what is, is there a long-term effect or what is it that they're showing? Well, you know, that's something that is still ongoing research. They have only been in the country with 2007, so it's only 14 years. So we really haven't had the time to do the long-term studies yet because they just haven't been out longterm. If you can kind of compare it to combustible cigarettes, they became out in like the late 18th century cigarettes became the most popular form of tobacco by the civil war, but it chickens until the mid 1960s for us to get our first surgeon general warning. So it took a long time to actually recognize all the health risks associated with that.

(16:56): I don't think it's been taken up a hundred years that they electronic cigarettes, but it is going to take a little bit of time for the longterm use because some of the health issue don't immediately pop up. They're seeing late in later years after years of use, but some early studies are showing that there are risks to the respiratory system, to the cardiovascular system. And I fully expect, you know, as time goes on and more studies are done, we will probably see a link with lung cancer where we will see a link with cop. We will see a link with heart attacks and strokes. I fully expect that we just don't have a data complete to back that up yet. I mean, to break down the vaping, I'm just, I mean, I'm a health nut. I'm so passionate about how the is, I'm even a fitness coach.

(17:41): So of course, anything like this, it's like, why would anyone want to put this into their body? I mean, is it, this is just a chemical that they're just inhaling. I mean, to break it down, to keep it into simple, pretty much, yes. When it first hit the market, it was kind of marketed as just a harmless water vapor. So people are hearing it, oh, well, I'm not putting all the chemicals that a cigarette has in, you know, into me, which is true. It has less chemicals than a combustible cigarette, but it does still have some known cancer causing agent. And it has heavy metals. It has these ultra-fine particles that go down into the lungs. So I think there's been a, a lack of recognition as to exactly what it is. There's still a lot of people that think it is just a harmless water vapor, which a vapor is, is the gas form of a substance.

(18:32): It's not a vapor, it's an aerosol, which an aerosol as a suspension of tiny particles of liquid or solid into a gas. So, you know, it, it's not the harmless water vapor that it was made out to be when it was first put on the market. And we're recognizing that there are a lot of things in it that I think a lot of people didn't realize. Yeah. Why do you think speaking of marketing, I mean, do you think they go after these kids? I mean, I'm thinking like, you know, you go for all those sweet, fun flavors, cotton, candy, cherry, all that good stuff. And then they put it into things that look like Sharpie, markers, school supplies, and lipstick. Yeah. Yes. I absolutely think they have been targeting the, you, this is a new market for them. You know, they, they, they have put it as it's a device that used to help smokers quit smoking, but their marketing techniques say otherwise, you know, if it was really being marketed to smokers, to transition over to something else, else that's potentially less dangerous than their marketing would be much different than what the marketing has actually been when you, when you put the, the flavors and the kids love when you put it in as devices, the parents are going to think are just school supplies when you have social media influencers, which is definitely our youth looking at that, that is all aimed toward the youth.

(20:01): Yeah, what's crazy is, I mean, I just think about in our hometown, how many vaping or vape retail stores we have, and I'm going to be honest with you, kids are really, really good at being sneaky. Like they can go and get a visa card at dollar general or online with a check that says, yes, I'm 18. And I want to get, I mean, that's like wake up parents. Like, this is what they need. They can find a way. And I just think about the family dynamics and the relationship. And I know we always have been faced with things, you know, with, you know, we've all been teenagers, we've all grown up and have been, but you know, I'm just sitting here as a parent. I'm like, man, we just did not have this stuff. Right. Like really didn't. And and that access to it is what's so crazy.

(20:44): It's just everywhere. All the kids know where they can go to get it. You know, I, I try to keep open communication with my kids and my son. You're not to be a bragging Garrett here, but he's a good graduate class. He can tell me, you know, we, we really do need to realize that all the kids are aware of this and we need to, to not put our blinders on this parents, we need to be aware of it. And I think there's a lot that we can do to make ourselves aware of it. You know, educator, I was just going to ask the, the, the risks of it. And then also look at what your kids are looking at. What are the social media influencers they're listening to? What video games are they running online? What Tik TOK videos are they watching, you know, go online and put in vaping, put in dabbing and see what sites pop up and see what you can access with just a couple of clicks on the internet.

(21:47): And then you realize how much access to this information they have. So educating ourselves, I think if they didn't meet that choice, if they did say yes and they made the choice. And I mean, we always talk with our kids about, you know, making good choices, but if they cross that line and because you said that nicotine is so addictive, what do we do? What as parents can we do to help our kids get back on track? Because now we're aware we've woken up. We're there. We see it. Kids are doing it under our eyes. We got it. The blinders are gone, but because it is an addiction, what do we do as parents to get them off? One thing is to make sure you keep your communication open with your child, not to be judgmental and giving them good information and pointing them at resources.

(22:32): There are several different programs that are available to help. There are some online that can go, this is my quit. There's several others there's they can go on and they can, there's texting programs where they can text this program when their quit date is on how they're feeling. And they can respond there's apps that they can download. They can talk to their primary care provider. And then there's my program. I run it tobacco cessation program for crippled medical center. And I provide counseling and I can do that individually or in groups. So, you know, trying to put them at the right resources, but also understanding that as parents, this isn't something that we can do for them. They have to make the decision that they want to quit. And so helping them come to that decision, then just talking to them, you know, why do they like to use these devices?

(23:24): What do they not like about it? What are their thoughts about quitting? You know, and get them kind of weighing out the pros and cons, talk to them. How, how is this affecting you? How could this potentially affect you? Do you play football well, okay. You might get drug tested and you might get kicked off the team. How would you feel if that happened to you talking to them about, especially the immediate consequences cause teenagers, they're going to blow off the longterm consequences. So talking to them about what, how it's immediately affecting them. But again, just being open non-judgemental non-confrontational and we all have different relationships with our kids and different ways of talking to our kids. And even one way that we would have a conversation with one of our kids. It's not going to work for the other child. So knowing your conversational style with your child and using it to the best advantage.

(24:16): But I think the most important thing I can say is don't make them feel like they can't talk to you about it, keep it open. And also with the primary care provider, take them in there and then say, okay, here's my concerns. Nope. Let me step out of the room. So you can have an open conversation with your primary care provider, because there may be things that they're willing to ask or talk to with their doctor or their nurse practitioner that they don't want to in front of mom. Is that okay? No, that's yeah. Taking that ownership and that, and that personal responsibility, you know, I always think about too, like, of course, you know, you instantly, you want to ground them or take everything away and it goes back to that open communication. It doesn't mean that it's going to stop it, especially if they are addicted.

(24:59): And I always think about like, what they're put on this earth for like, you, you just want them to just thrive and who it is that they want to, you know, who they've been created to be, and you don't want anything blocking them. And from that leadership standpoint, our kids are leaders in one way or another, every single child is a leader. So to paint that vision for them, for them to be excited about that versus bogged down. And now I think their Will's taken away. Like there's just their drive. Like they're in the circle. It's like we got to get them off on that exit and they have to choose the exit is what I'm hearing from you. Yes, we can, we can point the exit out, but we can't quite push them onto it. It's hard. And it's very hard as a parent because, you know, I know my kids, I just want to jump in.

(25:49): I want to fix everything and I want to say, this is what you're going to do it, but that doesn't always work, especially, you know, when you hit somebody that's 18 or 20 or 21, they're an adult and you really don't have that control. You have a little bit more control when they're younger, but again, sometimes they just find ways to be sneakier. And I, you know, I just know that this is hitting home for everyone. I mean, sport teams in the parking lot before and after practice on the school bus. And you're like, no way, like, there's no way that our kids are doing this and it's there, it's out there. Is there anything that you want to share that maybe we didn't talk about here today for the moms and dads that are listening of what we can do? No. Well, you know, as we've mentioned, I think the most important thing is to be aware of it, to know that this is an issue that our kids are facing and the sooner we start opening that dialogue and communication with them, the better it is, you know, it's never too young to start thinking about that.

(26:52): And also for ourselves, you know, setting a positive example it's, it's a little hard to convince your child that you sh they shouldn't bait if you yourself are vaping or if you yourself were smoking. So, you know, thinking about the, how your behavior can impact them, also walk their scene. So setting, setting a good example, but being open and honest, you know, if you were a past smoker and they asked you don't lie about it, because they're probably going to find out the truth and tell them, you know, the truth, how, how did you get started and what made you quit and bring up the positives about, about quitting, you know, there's power in that testimony. Exactly. Yes. And it also lets them know that they're not alone in the challenges that they have faced. I think for myself, as, as a mother, it was always very important to me to own up to mistakes I had made to my kids.

(27:47): Because I think it also, it teaches them to own up to their mistakes also. And it lets them know that they are not alone in some of these struggles that they, yeah, well, and it's like, they forget that we were teenagers once as well. So we have to actually take us back to their level and realize when we're communicating. And of course we're bringing all that wisdom in with it, but going back to that and remembering that, and I think that's where that open communication can really be super powerful. And I think they also need to remember back to our teenage years. I'm not going to give my age, but I'll just say it it's people have the access to the internet all the time, but you know, back then I, you know, even being one of the 12 good kids, I knew who to go to.

(28:33): If I wanted to get out the hall, I know who to go to if I would want to have gotten drugs. And that was before the access to the internet. So if we knew that back, then just think of what our kids have access to. And it's instant, it's instant. It is. Yeah, this is, this is good. I am hoping, I know, I know for a fact that we hit home with someone today and, you know, I'd hope that we can help just one child, one family with everything, where can they find you? Is there a website we can actually even put in the show notes if you don't have it right there, but is there someplace that they can contact you? Yes. Fairfield medical center, if you go to their website and if you just type in like tobacco cessation and says search ginger, that will pull up my program.

(29:19): But my, my email is Donna dot Cunningham at SMC help that, or, or even easier to remember tobacco cessation@fmchealth.org. And I'm located in the first medical, occupational health department of your field medical center on river valley Boulevard. Okay. And guys that is in Lancaster, Ohio. And you know, if you guys reach out, if you're out of town, know that we can point you and steer you in the right direction when you're reaching out for help. I cannot thank you enough. Thank you so, so much for sure. And I tell you what mamas, I know you're probably want some peace and a walk with that. And so I know I mentioned at the beginning, but I'm going to tell you again, that my books set free is a woman's guide to freedom from confusion, control, worry, fear, and stress by letting go and saying yes to God's endless love.

(30:07): And it is now on Amazon. And so I want you to be able to check that out, join us for the set free book club. And you can find that link at Joe Allen, coaching.com and heads up on the next episode, we're going to have another special guest Stacy [inaudible]. She is a huge proponent of productivity and mindset, and we're going to dive into her latest books titled implementation code, unlock the secret to getting it all done. So be sure to join us next week to check that out. Thanks so much for joining us today. If you're on iTunes, please leave a review. Love, hearing your feedback. Also subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media. If you felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know, someone that it can benefit. Talk with you next time, beat that beat. There's be unstoppable.

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