Avoiding vaping is key to healthy heart
Heart health is important. You only have one heart, after all. That was the message Renee Davis, youth marketing director with the American Heart Association, shared with Cadott students, Dec. 5.
Davis spoke about the dangers of vaping, or e-cigarette use, and other ways students can keep their hearts healthy. Davis says 92.1 million Americans suffer from heart disease.
“That’s a really high number,” said Davis.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and someone has a stroke every 38 seconds. Davis says heart disease is 80 percent preventable.
She started by showing students a video with facts about vaping, with an increasing number of middle and high school students using an e-cigarette.
“I don’t mean to come here to spread doom and gloom, but it really is scary and you have to take it seriously,” said Davis after the video.
Davis says her presentation changes monthly, because new information about the side-effects of vaping keeps coming out.
Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can reshape chemical patterns in your brain and can cause irritability, mood swings, anxiety and learning difficulties.
“One Juul pod (a common e-cigarette brand)...equals a whole pack of cigarettes,” said Davis. “And some people who are vaping are doing three to four of those little pods a day.”
Davis also told students e-cigarettes do not produce water vapor, but an aerosol that contains harmful substances.
“You don’t know what you’re getting,” said Davis.
She says it is impossible to know what illegally purchased e-cigarette pods contain.
Those 15-17 years old, are 16 times more likely to smoke cigarettes if they start vaping. Davis says youth can be the needed change.
“Most middle or high school students do not vape,” said Davis. “You have the power to fight back and stop vaping dead in its tracks.”
Students were given a pledge card to fill out after the presentation, where they promised to never smoke or vape.
Davis also told youth a diet high in sugar can harm the heart and noted that most Americans consume more than the recommended amount of sugar daily. She also encouraged youth to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
“So, less sugar, more water and definitely no vaping,” said Davis.
Those who would like more resources or information about vaping, can visit the American Heart Association website or teen.smokefree.gov.