LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A statewide effort is underway to educate school staff, parents and teachers about the dangers of vaping.
On Tuesday, the Texas PTA hosted a vaping Q&A with the Texas Legislature and it was live-streamed in Lubbock at a PTA watch party.
A panel of parents, students, physicians and other professionals presented on the health and legal consequences of vaping. They want to make sure kids and parents know the toll it will take both mentally and physically.
Anna Carey first tried vaping at a friend’s house when she was 14 years old.
“Then, from there I became addicted to vaping,” Carey said.
She didn’t know she would later find herself hospitalized for five days because of it.
“I couldn’t breathe, I had the worst pain I’d ever felt in my entire life, and I was stripped from all of my energy,” Carey said.
Now, she is 17, and urging parents to pay attention to their children.
Carey said she was in the National Honor Society, active in sports and overall a good kid. She said no one would have suspected her to be vaping, but she was.
“Don’t count your kid out,” Carey said.
Carey’s story is one of many shared at the Texas PTA Aaping Q&A with the Texas Legislature.
“I reached into my daughter’s backpack and what I pulled out was a vape,” Tricia Vasquez, a parent and PTA member at Monterrey High School, said.
“Last year alone, I witnessed Juul and e-cigarettes essentially take over middle school and high school,” Kellen Kruk, a teen ambassador for tobacco prevention said.
Eddy Morelock, Texas PTA field service representative and president of Monterrey High School PTA, said vaping is a huge concern that affects 30 percent of teens.
“Because of what the vaping companies are doing, they’ve kind of promoted it as a safe way or safe alternative to smoking cigarettes,” Morelock said.
He hosted a vaping education program at Monterrey High School, that he is hoping will spread to an even wider audience.
“It’s also coming out as not, because we’ve had some deaths in the country and people that are getting sick, in the hospital,” Morelock said.
He said it is important for parents and students to be on the same page, and to learn both the health and legal consequences of vaping.
“My hope today is that we can share out knowledge and stories, equipping us with information necessary to in turn educate school staff, parents and students on the prevalence of vaping among our teens,” Vasquez said.
You can find more information about vaping at: https://www.txpta.org/straight-talk?fbclid=IwAR0dXpe2yKxkINqNdQ3WWepcK3fkeaGVkp-oPxxKmJLGsuA3_6XDli-6bAo