Let us stop our children from becoming Big Tobacco’s next lifelong addict

Northern California youth report the highest rates of tobacco and nicotine product use in the state, according to the 2023 California Youth Tobacco Survey.

Vaping is a large part in the rise in sales and has been marketed as a safer alternative to smoking. Vapes contain nicotine, which in large amounts is a neurotoxin. Nicotine is addictive to adults, but imagine what it does to the still developing brain of a 10- to 17-year-old.

Students and school personnel report that many middle and high school students are addicted to vaping.

A local educator and parent stated that her children “have all been exposed, and they say that their friends have it and it’s very easy to get.”

While community programs do exist, this is a problem that can be prevented. Youth need support in different ways to combat this addiction.

Parents can help learn ways to speak to their children about nicotine addiction. Open communication with your children about the harms of nicotine addiction can help prevent children from trying vaping.

Also, being prepared to listen will help your child. Remember to explain that you are here to help and not to punish, to help them feel comfortable talking to you.

Visit this local resource parentsagainstvaping.org to learn more about talking to your kids about nicotine addiction. Let us stop our children from becoming Big Tobacco’s next lifelong addict!

Catherine Sievers, Dunsmuir, California