Last month, Cobb Juvenile Court Judge Jeff Hamby, alongside industry experts, participated in an informative session held at Harrison High School (located in West Cobb County) to inform parents and students about the dangers associated with vaping.
The one-hour educational session was held to bring knowledge and awareness to the harmful effects of vaping, and encourage attendees to become active participants in prevention efforts in our community. In addition to Judge Hamby, attendees heard from Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Laura Searcy and Attorney Phyllis Gingrey Collins, who provided alarming statistics about the harmful effects of vaping, and discussed the law surrounding it.
“With the increase we are seeing in vaping among our youth, we feel it is important to help educate our community on its dangers and harmful long-term effects,” stated Harrison’s Assistant Principal, Lucia Poole. The Cobb County Juvenile Court reports approximately 40 new cases involving vaping since the start of the 2019/2020 school year.
“The problem we are discovering is kids aren’t aware of what is actually contained in vaping devices, and end up with criminal charges for possession,” stated Judge Hamby. He continued, “Parents, talk to your kids. Kids, talk to your friends. The more aware we are of the dangers associated with vaping, the more likely we are to protect our youth from experimenting with these harmful products; which can lead to addiction.” Searcy, who currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Georgia Tobacco Free Youth Project, discussed the common misconception that vaping is a safe alternative to smoking. “Youth believe when they are vaping, they are only inhaling water vapor when in fact, 99% of all e-cigarette products contain nicotine,” stated Searcy. She outlined a list of other harmful ingredients found in vapes including lead, formaldehyde, nickel, and harmful chemicals found in pesticides, paint thinner, batteries, and even gasoline.
Searcy explained while companies like JUUL, a popular vape manufacturer, have altered their marketing strategies to avoid targeting youth, enticing flavors continue to serve as bait to lure youth to the product. She revealed the results of a study performed by the Truth Initiative, a non-profit public health organization, which found 43% of young people tried ecigarettes simply because of the appealing flavors.
The Cobb County Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse (CCAPSA) is hosting a Fundraiser Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 from 5-10pm at Jason’s Deli on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw. Mention CCPASA when ordering, and Jason’s Deli will donate 15% of all proceeds to CCAPSA to aid in prevention efforts. “We as a community have to work together for the best interest of our children. The way we accomplish this is by educating our youth about the dangers associated with vaping, and by participating in community prevention efforts,” stated Judge Hamby.
To learn more about the harmful effects of vaping, and how you can aid in prevention efforts, visit The Georgia Tobacco Use Prevention Program website at www.dph.georgia.gov/tobacco, and also the Cobb Community Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse at www.ccapsa.org.
For more information, please contact Amanda Marshall at 770-528-8101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the September issue of the EAST COBBER magazine, on page 43. Click here to view the digital edition.