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Most people who use tobacco as adults begin using tobacco during their adolescent years. Did you know 95% of tobacco users start using tobacco products before they are 21 years old? That's why preventing the use of tobacco products by youth is critical to tobacco-prevention efforts across Mecklenburg County and the U.S.
Any Form of Use Is Unsafe
The rise of tobacco use by youth is attributed to e-cigarette use, or vaping. While cigarette use by youth has dropped, the use of electronic cigarettes, specifically flavored disposable vapes, has increased among middle and high school students.
Flavoring in such products make them more appealing to youth. However, vaping may pose serious and avoidable health risks. Exposure to nicotine during
adolescence can lead to addiction and cause long-term harm to brain development. The
aerosol from vapes or e-cigarettes contains toxins that are harmful when inhaled.
Scroll towards the bottom of the page to view our winners
The most recent National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that more than 2.5 million students currently used e-cigarettes/vapes. Approximately 85% used flavored e-cigarettes. According to Truth Initiative, 81% of youth started using e-cigarettes/vapes to decrease anxiety, depression, and stress. However, these products have been shown to worsen mental health.
You can get help quitting by texting DITCHVAPE to 88709.
Click here for more information.
Youth can enroll today in a free, teen vaping text quit program by texting VAPEFREENC to 873373 to get started. Available for teens (ages 13-17). Youth may also text "Coach" for immediate access to coach.
For parents/adults looking to learn more about youth vaping and how to help, the Live Vape Free program has a component focused on supporting parents and other concerned adults with the vaping epidemic. This online learning program is designed to provide the insights needed for getting started, tips and tools, and resources for ongoing support. To learn more, click here.
YouthTobaccoProgram Resources 12.22.22.pdf: A wide variety of resources for teachers, tobacco educators, counselors, nurses, parents, and others on the hazards and long-term consequences of tobacco use. Resources include educational programs, cessation tools, fact sheets, media campaigns, and much more.
Tobacco Cessation for Young Adults
Vaping Facts & Misperceptions-2020
Youth Tobacco: Resources for Parents
Youth Tobacco: Alternative to Suspension Resources
Vaping Mind Map - Teacher Guide.pdf
Healthy Coping Strategies Mind Map - Teacher Guide.pdf
Supplemental Tools for Teachers.docx
Hispanic-Latino Tobacco Use Fact Sheet.pdf
Black-African American Fact Sheet.pdf
LGBT Fact Sheet.pdf
Nicotine Addiction and Mental Health Fact Sheet.pdf
Point of Sale Fact Sheet.pdf
Quitting Tobacco Use Fact Sheet.pdf
Tobacco Impacts the Environment Fact Sheet.pdf
Tobacco Products Fact Sheet.pdf
Educational Content for Voces Jovenes-TF Video Contest.pdf
10 Tips for Effective Communication With Youth About Vaping: English | Printable brochure
E-cigs and Adolescents: English | Spanish
Eliminate Flavored Tobacco:English | Spanish
Truth about Smoking and Vaping: English
E-cigarettes 101: Spanish
National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2019, CDC
N.C. Youth Tobacco Survey, 2017 and 2019, N.C. Tobacco Prevention & Control Branch
Mecklenburg County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2019, CDC
View the results of the 2020 Youth Drug Survey and the 2022 survey, administered by the
Center for Prevention Services
Your hard work in raising awareness around the harmful impact of tobacco use among teens is to be commended.
It is important that we amplify youth voices by involving them in awareness, education, and advocacy opportunities. This contest alllowed Health Region 4, NC middle and high school aged youth to participate in creatively educating and advocating for change through video media and/or photovoice to further promote tobacco-free environments.
Teenager Luka Kinard shares how he became addicted to vaping and his experience finding treatment. In this interview with Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center he discusses how he paid for his habit, how social media spreads the epidemic, and what it's like to be a sober teenager.
For more information about our youth tobacco prevention program or to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, contact Irini McCarthy at Irini.McCarthy@MeckNC.gov.
You can also follow Tobacco-Free Mecklenburg on social media for the latest in national, state, and local tobacco-related news, policies, issues, and resources.