by Derrick Vander Waal
SIOUX CENTER – The use of electronic cigarettes – or vaping – is more than just a fad.
Teri Bos, public health nurse at Community Health Partners of Sioux County, calls it an “emerging problem” – particularly among teens and young adults.
Bos and Shay Davis, tobacco prevention advocate for the Northwest Iowa Tobacco Free Coalition, will give a presentation on “Smoking Cessation and the Negative Effects of Electronic Cigarettes (‘Vaping’)” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30, in the community education room at Promise Community Health Center, 338 1st Ave. NW, Sioux Center. The topic is being explored for Promise’s monthly “Bridging the Divide” Community Education Talk.
“We believe we have important information that the public needs to be aware off,” Davis said. “It’s not just water vapor. Nicotine and the adolescent brain are not a good combination. Do you know what’s in the e-juice you’re using? We will also be talking about Quitline Iowa as well and what services are offered.”
Davis and Bos said the talk might interest preteens and teens, young adults, parents, teachers, smokers considering using e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking, medical professionals and business owners.
Bos said she and Davis provided education on the health effects of smoking and nicotine to more than 1,600 students in area middle schools and high schools in the past year.
“After being in so many schools and talking to so many kids and teachers in the area, it became very clear to us that kids are vaping at alarming rates,” Bos said, noting that statistics show that vaping rates among high school students tripled in one year from 2013 to 2014. “Far more kids now are vaping than smoking, and very few teachers, parents or even health-care providers know what vaping is.”
She said that is concerning because research shows that nicotine, including that in e-cigarettes, has negative effects on brain development in adolescents and is beginning to reveal that vaping cause damage to lung tissue similar to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org.