As a result of recent research, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and the YMCA of El Paso have teamed up for an awareness campaign to better educate adults on the vaping habits of kids.
Recent focus group interviews conducted in the El Paso and Las Cruces area confirmed that middle school and high school-aged students often know more about e-cigarettes and vaping than their parents.
The interviews, conducted by the A Smoke Free Paso del Norte, an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, in coordination with the YMCA of El Paso, is the basis of a new educational effort designed to inform adults about vaping among kids in the border region.
“There are so many issues facing families today,” said Bill Coon, chief executive officer of the YMCA of El Paso. “We believe that one of the most important things a parent can do when they have concerns is to educate themselves on the topic,” Coon said. “While vaping may not be on the minds of every parent, their kids are probably seeing it out there in our community, so adults need to be equipped to address this issue.”
The Vape Free PDN awareness campaign focuses on providing information to parents and guardians to help them better understand vaping trends, terms, and the devices involved.
As electronic delivery systems usage rises among youth, the ultimate goal of the effort is to encourage parents to learn more about vapes and vaping, and then talk with their kids about the issue.
The focus groups also found a broad range of opinions and understanding when it comes to vaping. “It’s amazing how differently parents and kids think about the issue of vaping,” said Bianca De Leon, program officer for the initiative at the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
“We know that our region is diverse and that parents with middle and high school kids have different perspectives. We wanted to provide parents the tools and resources to have conversations with their kids and help them make good decisions, especially when it comes to their health.”
Officials say that a series of public service announcements highlighting middle school and high school students with varied interests and backgrounds are featured in the campaign, which will run now through the fall. The spots are airing on local television and radio stations.
Parents now have online access to vaping information, statistics, tips, and conversational guidelines to assist them in addressing the subject with their children at vapefreepdn.org.