DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Health officials call it an epidemic: 50 percent of high school seniors in Douglas County say they have used vape products.
Now, a group of concerned teens and parents is helping to educate the community with public service announcements that are airing on local TV stations and on YouTube.
The teens involved thought relatable subjects and humor would be more effective than scare tactics to get through to their peers.
The teens deliver lines like: “High school is hard….” “My friends found out about my Fortnite coach…” and ending with, “but at least I don’t have a nicotine addiction to a flash drive.”
The young people and their parents are with the Douglas County Youth Leaderboard and are working with the Tobacco Free 303 Campaign out of the Tri-County Health Department to discourage young people from vaping and to encourage parents to get informed and know what a vape product looks like.
Abby, Chris and Adrienne Hoerler from Highlands Ranch were all in the anti-vaping videos.
“It’s really prevalent. There’s a lot of kids doing it,” said Abby.
“I feel like it’s about 50 percent of the kids who do it,” said Chris.
Their mother, Adrienne, believes it’s important for parents to learn about vaping and be able to talk to their kids about it.
“They do see it on almost a daily basis,” Adrienne said.
The family hopes the videos will help people learn more about the health implications of vaping.
“It’s not just water vapor. It is something that could potentially harm their health in the long term,” said Taylor Roberts with Tri-County Health Department. “Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and with vape products in particular, it’s delivering a really high dose efficiently into the lungs.”
The campaign acknowledges kids are stressed out, but experts want them to find healthy ways to cope.