Spectrum Health to address vaping and teens

Virtual seminar planned for Feb. 10

Spectrum Health Reed City and Big Rapids hospitals is offering a free virtual seminar featuring experts on vaping from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Spectrum Health’s tobacco and nicotine treatment program.

The seminar is from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 10. Anyone can join on the virtual platform from a smartphone or laptop. To register, call 231-924-3073 or go online.

Featured experts are:

• Carolyn Chaudhary, MPH, e-cigarette expert, MDHHS

• Libby Stern, LMSW, NCTTP, Nationally certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Spectrum Health

• Caitlin Schucker, CHES®️, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Spectrum Health

“Nicotine is one of the Top 5 most addictive drugs known to man, and with vaping and e-cigarette use on the rise, we are facing a significant health challenge among teens and individuals," said Scott Lombard, manager of community health at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals. "Nicotine use has been linked to slower brain development in teens and can affect their memory, learning, and self-control.”

“With our free virtual seminar, we hope to equip families and individuals with tools they can use to navigate youth conversations about vaping," he added. "We will also address social norms and how social media influences youth perception. Our panel of experts are on the frontlines of the effort to reduce vaping and e-cigarette use in local communities, and we are excited to have them share this valuable information.”

Across the United States, e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, has reached epidemic levels, threatening to hook a new generation of young people on nicotine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of any tobacco and nicotine product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe for young people.

About 1 of every 5 high school students reported in 2020 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days and about 1 of every 20 middle school students reported in 2020 that they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, CDC data shows.