The use of electronic devices to inhale flavored and colored nicotine juice by teens is a hot topic in the news today. This practice is known alternatively as ‘vaping’ or “Juuling” for “Juul,” the most popular teen brand of vape devices. The trend has grown quietly since 2008 when the unregulated industry of electronic cigarettes began to explode in the U.S. and internationally. Sadly, many teens began using these products with little or no stigma or risk associated and no knowledge of how harmful they are. Today, teens in area schools are reporting up to a 43 percent rate of use of vaping devices.

“It’s like chewing gum,” a younger teen said to me last week. “We do it to have something to do and something to talk about and it tastes good.”

But the data is mounting and clear, there are carcinogens in many colored and flavored juices — like “cotton candy,” “mango” and “grape” — that are clearly designed for teen appeal. And many teens that try vaping will become addicted; those with anxiety are especially at risk.

Join us for an informational program, “What Every Parent Needs to Know About Vaping,” sponsored by Project Resilience, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., at the Ridgefield Library. The speaker, Liz Driscoll Jorgensen, will share from her 32 years’ experience as an adolescent counselor and substance abuse specialist and the owner of Insight Counseling, LLC. Attendees will leave the event with tools to inoculate teens from vaping or effectively intervene.

Liz Driscoll Jorgensen