Tobacco toolkit educates teens on dangers of vaping

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- In a partnership with the Thomas Jefferson Health District and the University of Virginia Cancer Center, the Tobacco Free Community Coalition launched a new tobacco and nicotine use toolkit earlier this summer to educate the community on the dangers of e-cigarettes.

The toolkit provides diagrams, statistics, and resources to educate schools and parents about the risks associated with vapes, and JUULs.

Kathryn Goodman, a spokesperson for the TJHD, hopes the toolkit can be helpful to parents looking for resources to help their kids.

"The toolkit has information about all the different types of nicotine delivering systems, including vapes and JUUL," Goodman said. "We have information about myths and what parents can say to talk to their children about it, what students should know and could tell their peers, and also curriculum for teachers and administrators in the schools."

The toolkit was introduced to teachers at Charlottesville High School to use as a classroom resource before the beginning of the school year.

With help from the Tobacco Free Community Coalition, Jessica Brantley, the health and physical education instruction coordinator at CHS, helped teachers understand the new toolkit.

"All of our teachers were trained on the newest information related to the dangers of vaping so we can use that in our classrooms with our students," Brantley said.

She hopes the toolkit can educate the community about the dangers behind the fumes.

"People think that JUULing and vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, but it has its own set of hazards, so kind of getting out there to students and families the actual real dangers that are out there associated with vaping risk," Brantley said.

Virginia lawmakers passed a new law to increase the age limit for people to buy tobacco products, which went into effect on July 1.

If a student at CHS is caught with an e-cigarette, they are referred to a Teen Intervene program, which counsels students on the dangers of nicotine addiction with e-cigarettes.

If you would like to learn more about the toolkit, you can click on the link in the Related Links box.

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