Students, Parents & Physicians Invited to Discuss Impact & Help for the Addicted
Leaders of the Medical Association of Atlanta have announced that the vaping phenomenon, which has claimed six lives in Georgia and caused 2,506 lung injury cases across the country requiring hospitalization, will be the subject of a town hall meeting in early February. Keynoter Bonnie Halpern-Flesher, PhD of Stanford University, an expert on understanding and reducing adolescent and young adult substance use, will provide evidence-based resources that can be used to help prevent and reduce youth use of e-cigarettes.
At VAPING TODAY, students, parents and physicians will examine why the vaping phenomenon happened, its impact on young people and learn the latest facts on the vaping crisis. They will also review the medical issues associated with vaping and discuss ways to help the addicted.
VAPING TODAY, presented by the Medical Association of Atlanta, will be held on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 7 p.m. at North Atlanta High School, Atlanta, Ga. 30327. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.maa-assn.org.
According to the state Department of Public Health, the agency has identified 41 cases of vaping-associated illness in Georgia, including 6 deaths as of January 13, 2020. Cases range in age from 14 to 68 years (the median age is 32 years), and 62% are male. Most cases have been hospitalized and have required respiratory support.
“Vaping was originally promoted as a safe alternative, but instead has caused a whole new set of issues along with long-term health effects that may not present themselves for years to come,” said Deborah A. Martin, M.D., president of the Medical Association of Atlanta (MAA). “The MAA is committed to providing education to the public on health issues. Conversations about why vaping use has skyrocketed and how to help those addicted are very important right now.”
“Flavored e-cigarettes like JUUL — the market leader that patented the nicotine-salt technology that delivers nicotine more efficiently to the brain — used social media marketing, young influencers, and kid-friendly flavors to target teens,” said Dr. Justine Henao, a Georgia advocate for Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes (PAVe), the national volunteer organization founded in 2018 by three moms as a grassroots response to the youth vaping epidemic. “When you consider that the FDA has allowed these highly-addictive and stealth-by-design flavored products to remain on the market largely unregulated, even with a May, 2020 deadline to apply for approval, it’s no surprise that there are currently 5.3 million young people regularly vaping, which is a 135% increase in teen use of these products in the last two years.“
Keynoter Bonnie Halpern-Flesher, PhD, a professor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, will provide detailed information on e-cigarettes, nicotine levels in these products, addiction, and other health effects. She is the founder and executive director of the Tobacco Prevention Toolkit and the Cannabis Awareness and Prevention Toolkit. Halpern-Flesher’s presentation will also provide information on reasons for adolescent use of these products, including flavors, appeal, marketing, perceived reduced harm, stress, anxiety, and depression, and misperceptions. She will also provide evidence-based resources that can be used to help prevent and reduce youth use of e-cigarettes, as well as advocacy efforts occurring in the U.S. to reduce vaping use.
Members of Vaping: Attention To Prevention (VA2P), a nonprofit student lead organization that strives to increase awareness and educate on the harmful effects of vaping, will share a short video and explain how teens can get involved with vaping prevention.
A north Georgia mom will share the story of how her teenage son had severe adverse effects to Juuling in hopes this sharing will prevent this from happening to other teens.
Dr. Tina Shah, a board-certified pulmonary and critical care physician and the medical director of practice improvement at Wellstar Health System, will discuss Georgia vaping-related cases and national efforts to curb vaping. Dr. Atul Trivedi, a cardiologist at the Northeast Georgia Heart Center, will discuss the effects of nicotine on the heart and blood vessels.