I am back on my bike to fundraise for The American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. Established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; their mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.
One of the ALA’s primary efforts is that of education. This year my focus is on educating our kids about vaping. In short-vaping terrifies me. With candy and dessert flavorings, vaping has great appeal to our youth. Even more frightening is that vaping has increased exponentially since e-cigarettes first appeared, with middle and high school use tripling from 2013 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latest estimate shows that 38% of high schoolers and 18% of middle schoolers have tried vaping at least once.
I understand that there are many who feel vaping is safer than smoking, and the battle between proponents and opponents is ongoing. However, the undeniable fact is that the research about vaping’s long-term effects is still in its infancy, and there has already been several severe respiratory illnesses and even deaths linked to the habit.
I believe it is our job as role models to educate our youth. The ALA “Vape Talk” webpage discusses, among other things, the different modalities of vaping and methods to talk to kids about its potential dangers. With an estimated 5700 children trying vaping per day, time is of the essence.
Please consider a donation to this wonderful organization. Every dollar makes a difference. Many thanks!