Part of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Take Down Tobacco program is a year-long effort that peaks every March with Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action. There are many ways to get involved, so take a look at the resources below for ideas.
What is Take Down Tobacco?
Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action, formerly known as Kick Butts Day, is the day where people come together to be leaders for tobacco-free living. If you are interested, you can:
- Hold events that raise awareness about the problem of tobacco use in your community
- Encourage youth to reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free
- Educate elected officials on ways to protect kids from tobacco.
While smoking has decreased among youth, the 2019 Louisiana Youth Tobacco Survey showed that e-cigarettes, or vaping, has doubled since 2017 and tripled since 2015. Any nicotine is harmful to a teenager’s still-developing brain and can negatively affect memory, learning and concentration. This is why Take Down Tobacco is such an important time for youth to value their health and take a stand against all tobacco use.
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is the addictive chemical found in tobacco products. It is quickly absorbed when smoked, chewed or vaped, going directly to the brain, making the user feel happy and satisfied. This is what makes nicotine dangerously addictive. As tobacco use increases, the user is exposed to chemicals that harm nearly every organ in the body.
The Truth about Vapes
Vapes are not just harmless water vapor. They are actually a type of e-cigarette that usually contains nicotine. Besides nicotine, vapes/e-cigs/e-hookahs/JUULs/mods, can contain other harmful ingredients, including: ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease nicknamed Popcorn Lung, volatile organic compounds, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin and lead. Not convinced? Click here to learn even more about the risks of e-cigarettes.
How You Can Help End the Vaping Epidemic
Parents, start by learning more about e-cigarettes and vapes by reading this guide from the CDC. Then start a conversation with your kids! Click here for the "Vape Talk" Conversation Guide, a resource developed by the American Lung Association or click here for a conversation tip sheet for parents created by the Surgeon General.
Educators and Coaches, start by learning more about e-cigarettes and vapes by reading this guide from the CDC. Then click here to ensure your school’s policy complies with Louisiana law, LA RS 17:240 (A) and (B), and to find resources for effective implementation. You can also take a look at the CDC's Evidence Brief: Tobacco Industry-Sponsored Youth Prevention Programs in Schools by clicking here.
Request a training or presentation for your school or organization by emailing email@example.com. Presentations include information on the health risks of vapes, nicotine dependence, tobacco industry advertising tactics and youth tobacco data. Many of these presentations are even youth led! You can also present the material yourself by downloading this presentation PPT slidedeck and talking points designed by the CDC for teachers, health educators and coaches to educate youth on vaping and e-cigarettes.
- JUULs have a high level of nicotine. According to the manufacturer, a single JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes!
- More people in the United States are addicted to nicotine than any other drug.
- Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine or alcohol.