GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Northern Guilford High School parents and the community were invited to learn about the dangers of vaping and opioid substance abuse Monday night.
“And I just think the weed, vaping, the Juuling, everything is just something I just have to be more aware of,” said Doreen Thompson, a parent.
The school’s PTSA led the discussion inside of the school’s auditorium, inviting experts from CVS Health to discuss the opioid epidemic, and vaping experts. Outside of the auditorium, tables were set up for parents to take brochures and look at the actual vapes and other common tobacco products.
“I think it’s open for every teenager to get into the peer pressure, the, ‘It makes me feel good,'” Thompson said.
The open forum hopes to bring early intervention to teens who may be experimenting with illicit drugs and vaping.
According to the CDC, the most commonly used nicotine products among middle and high school students are E-cigarettes. One of the most popular E-cigarettes is the Juul, which looks like a USB drive.
Experts say the amount of nicotine is harmful to adolescent development, leaving parents worried about how teens are getting their hand on the vapes, which are illegal for teens under the age of 18.
FOX8 spoke with Abe Mustafa, owns a local vape shop, and believes vaping overall isn’t bad but doesn’t agree with teens using it without being of age.
“I’m not going to say it has benefits to it but as far as smoking versus vaping, yeah definitely vaping is better,” Mustafa said.
He says teens will come in after school in groups and try to purchase vapes.
“They want to get the Juul, especially the Juul,” Mustafa said.
These issues have parents realizing the dangerous habits their kids could pick up through peer pressure and hanging with the wrong crowd.
“Mostly just scared — I think about what these kids are up against I mean they’re just experiencing so many things that I never had to as a child,” said Nancy Czarnowski, a parent.
Experts suggest having a conversation with your teen and educate them on the danger of drugs and vaping.