Keynote speakers included FDA’s Director of Tobacco Products, Dr. Brian King, MPG; and Founding President and Medical Director of Child Mind Institute, Harold S. Koplewicz, MD.
Additional Remarks were made by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Parents Against Vaping e-Cigarettes (PAVe) hosted its third annual free virtual Clear the Vapor Conference on Tuesday, October 24th, that provided crucial insights into the U.S. youth vaping crisis, discussed the intersection of youth mental health and vaping, in addition to the co-use of cannabis and nicotine and spoke with parents and children living this in real-time. Over 2,000 registrants participated in the all-day conference, which brought together top researchers, public health advocates, educators, lawmakers, parents, and young people for a full day of panels and discussions on how to better protect our youth from the predatory practices of Big Tobacco and vape companies.
“We are honored to create a space where parents, school administrators, medical experts, and lawmakers can join us to gain insights on this epidemic and the solutions to help curb youth vaping,” said Dorian Fuhrman, co-founder of PAVe. “We are constantly speaking with parents whose kids are impacted by vaping and are desperate for support. This is why this conference is so important in providing insights and solutions. Young people can easily purchase flavored nicotine products despite the laws limiting youth access, and parents are seeing firsthand how it impacts them physically and mentally.”
This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Brian King, Director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, who gave an energetic speech about the FDA’s actions to address youth e-cigarette use. During his discussion with PAVe’s co-founders Meredith Berkman and Dorian Fuhrman, he emphasized how the FDA is tirelessly working to finalize its review of the premarket tobacco applications, which are 99% done, should be completed by its deadline in December, and how his team is working with the agencies at the border to regulate the flood of illegal e-cigarettes pouring in from overseas, such as China. He also reiterated that while the youth vaping figures for middle and high school students have decreased from 5 million in 2019 to 2.5 million, we shouldn’t become desensitized to these numbers – there is still much work to be done. The FDA is also looking to release the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey in the coming weeks, which will provide the latest youth vaping figures.
Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Founding President and Medical Director of the Child Mind Institute, provided opening remarks for a panel discussing the link between flavored nicotine e-cigarettes and the mental health consequences on our youth. His powerful speech highlighted the correlation between the current youth mental health crisis and the youth vaping epidemic. With teens experiencing anxiety, depression, ADHD, and loneliness, many are self-medicating with nicotine products. Koplewicz noted that teenage brains perceive risk differently and are more likely to become addicted, and as they grow into adulthood, it is harder for them to quit. While prevention is the most effective strategy for teens, his suggestion to parents is to lean in and know their children’s patterns. That way, if something seems off, early intervention is also effective.
Throughout the conference, elected officials, including Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, provided remarks and discussed their efforts to help curb the youth vaping epidemic at the federal level.
Additional panels included creative cessation methods for young people in the absence of FDA-approved treatment, proven restorative approaches to school suspension for nicotine-addicted youth, the environmental impacts of disposable vapes, the correlation between youth e-cigarette use and cannabis, tobacco endgame strategies to create a tobacco-free future, and discussions with young people and parents who were affected by flavored nicotine e-cigarettes.
ABOUT Parents Against Vaping e-Cigarettes (PAVe):
Parents Against Vaping e-Cigarettes (PAVe) is a national nonprofit founded by three moms in 2018 as a grassroots response to the youth vaping epidemic. The catalyst was their discovery that a JUUL representative had entered their sons’ New York City high school through an outside anti-addiction group and, without the school’s knowledge, told 9th-grade students that JUUL was “totally safe” and would receive FDA approval “any day.” Powered by parent volunteers across the country, PAVe advocates for local, state, and national legislation to end sales of all flavored tobacco products and provides parent education in English and Spanish about the dangers of youth tobacco use and the predatory behavior of the tobacco industry.
Stephanie Morris / Lindsay Stevens
Dini von Mueffling Communications
SOURCE Parents Against Vaping e-Cigarettes