On March 3, 2021 the American Heart Association on Long Island hosted the first Peer to Peer discussion on tobacco & vaping. Whether you are for it or against it, vaping is an extremely important topic amongst teens. Our goal is to bring young adults together to speak with one another and search for the truth about vaping and tobacco. Thank you to the young leaders who made this conversation possible.
Vaping and E-cigarettes
Vaping is becoming an increasing epidemic among teens. In 2018, e-cigarette use nearly doubled in high school students. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. The term is used because e-cigarettes do not produce tobacco smoke, but rather an aerosol, often mistaken for water vapor, that actually consists of fine particles.
While e-cigarette vapor may have fewer toxic substances than cigarette smoke, e-cig users are still exposed to nicotine, which is a dangerous and highly addictive chemical, as well as toxins, metals and contaminants. Varying amounts of toxic chemicals have been linked to heart and respiratory diseases and cancer.
Mental Health and Wellness
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. For years, doctors thought the connection between mental health and heart health was strictly behavioral – such as the person who is feeling down seeking relief from smoking, drinking or eating fatty foods.
That thinking has started to change. Research shows there could be physiological connections, too. The biological and chemical factors that trigger mental health issues also could influence heart disease.
You’re the Cure Network
The American Heart Association advocates for heart-healthy and stroke-smart communities through legislative and regulatory policies in New York, and we need you to join us!
This is your opportunity for your voice to be heard!
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor is a letter sent to a publication about issues of concern from its readers. This is one of the most popular read features in any magazine or newspaper.
Issues to be Addressed:
- Additional tobacco tax
- Banning all menthol tobacco products
This is another way to get your voice to be heard!
Tobacco Free Schools
Vaping is the new youth tobacco epidemic. 1 in 5 teens are vaping, that is 3.6 million kids! Nearly half of the youth e-cigarette users report using a device in school, and half of those kids want to quit.
Schools can play a role by creating a holistic approach:
- Education: educate all students on tobacco products
- Policy & Environment: ensure and enforce a 100% tobacco-free environment
- Supportive Approach: offer a supportive approach for students who are caught
100% Tobacco-Free School Policy Essentials:
- Prohibits the use of any tobacco products by students, staff, and visitors
- Prohibits the possession by students
- Applies at all times, on all district property (including vehicles) and at all district-sponsored events, including field trips
- Provides a progressive, supportive approach for disciplinary actions when students are caught vaping or using tobacco products
- Does not use exclusionary practices such as suspension or expulsion, unless they are last resort
- Does not use other punitive measures such as taking away extracurricular and issuing fines
- Does not involve school resource officers or law enforcement in disciplinary procedures
Thank you the the Committee:
Abe Baker-Butler – Students Against Nicotine (SAN)
Brittney Hoffmann – American Heart Association
Caitlin O’Brein – American Heart Association
Carissa Jachcinski – Reality Check
Daisy Amaris – Sewanhaka Schools
Devin Escobar – Uniondale Schools
Diego Ortiz Quintero – American Heart Association
Emily Jones – Reality Check
Emily Kalika – Uniondale Schools
Estafani Benietz – Reality Check
Greg Mihailovich – American Heart Association
Harrison Du – Students Against Nicotine (SAN)
Janine Bradley – Uniondale Schools
Jennifer Miller – American Heart Association
Jennifer Teich – Uniondale Schools
Jeovanna Serpas – Reality Check
Joseline Serpas – Reality Check
Judith Montauban – Reality Check
Katie Bauer – American Heart Association
Kerin Barahona – Reality Check
Kimberley Donis – Reality Check
Marissa Greider – American Heart Association
Mark Hurley – American Heart Association
Michele Gervat – American Heart Association
Oluchi Chukwuemka – Suffolk Youth Caucus
Riya Subbaiah – Friends Academy
Sergio Argueta – Uniondale Schools
Teasia Chenshaw – Reality Check
Teruno Hyman – Uniondale Schools
Thank you to the organizations that collaborated on this project:
For any questions, please contact Michele.Gervat@heart.org.
Diego is the Communications Director for the American Heart Association in New York City. He loves sharing powerful stories that inspire people to take control of their health.