Did you know four Marlboro Men died from smoking-related illnesses? I watch John Oliver’s HBO show, “Last Week Tonight” and learned this fact during his exposé on tobacco, specifically Big Tobacco. Google it for yourself. The language is raw; the facts are cold.
While no mention was made of e-cigs, hookah or vaping, I have been thinking about their local use as we reapply for our grant. According to 2013 California Healthy Kids Survey data, 98% of seventh graders, 76% of ninth graders and 79% of 11th graders at CV High have never tried vapes, e-cigs or hookah. That means there are too many that did, or said they did. We know traditional cigarettes are frowned upon by young people; what about these new delivery systems?
Violet Mesrkhani, PhD, runs GUSD TUPE classes (Tobacco Use Prevention Education). She heard they are as innocent as teapot vapor. A Yelp search found nine vape stores in our area and, when I included Glendale and Pasadena in my search, there were nearly 100 vape stores reviewed on Yelp. And it’s not just specialty shops; e-cigarettes are sold in convenience stores, dollar stores, grocery stores and gas stations. Last year, a mother called to say her young son asked her to buy him an e-cig because “all of his friends” had them. She was wondering if this was true and she wanted information about them. Unless her son’s a part of the 2%, he was exaggerating. But she did inspire me to put information on our website about vaping, e-cigs and hookah so I thank her here.
So how are kids getting their hands and lips on these things? What do you know about this trend? I would really love to hear your thoughts. And, just so you know, Glendale Police Officer and fan favorite Joe Allen is speaking on this topic at our March 3 parent session from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the CV High library. If you would like to bring your child to this talk, let me know and we’ll open it up to kids. If not, it will be parents only.
is the executive director of
CV Alliance located at
3131 Foothill Blvd. Suite D
La Crescenta, CA 91214