Laura Searcy speaks on the harms of vaping


On Sept. 18th in the PAC, Decatur High School hosted a presentation on new vaping research and current trends by Laura Searcy for Decatur parents. Searcy is a pediatric nurse practitioner and a member of the Cobb Community Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse. Searcy gave a detailed account of the statistics pertaining to youth usage of vaping products and the related side effects.

“Teenagers think bad things are going to happen to somebody else,” Moore said. “It’s not because they’re stupid, it’s not because they’re immature for their age, it’s because their prefrontal cortex just isn’t developed.”

The event started with Searcy clearing up some confusion that people have about vaping. According to the FDA, any product derived from a tobacco leaf is considered a tobacco product and vapes have tobacco in them. She also mentioned that nicotine, which is also present in vapes, is a very addictive substance.

Searcy went on to evaluate the harm and potential benefits of e-cigarette products. She believes that youth use of tobacco is unsafe and believes that there is little evidence to suggest e-cigarettes have any benefits at all. 

“For kids it’s clear, there is no harmless vaping and there is no harmless e-cigarette usage,” Searcy said. 

Searcy expressed her concerns over the rise of vaping advertisements that she believes is increasing the number of adolescents using vaping products. Vaping is attractive to kids because of the new chemicals that makes the smoking experience smoother and the new flavors that attract the teenage demographic. 

“The tobacco landscape is evolving,” Searcy said. “E-cigarettes were thrown on the market in large quantities and we’re experimenting on it with our kids. I always ask kids, ‘Did you agree to be a human guinea pig?’”

If you need help with an addiction to nicotine, contact the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line for assistance.

Terrie Moore, the leader of the Decatur Prevention Initiative (DPI), also voiced her concerns over

 the increasing prevalence of teen usage of nicotine products. She believes parents can help their children by reenforcing the message that using nicotine products is harmful.

“When kids are at a point where they can’t predict future consequences from their decisions it’s
when we as adults need to step in and talk to them,” Moore said. “We need to help them understand that the short term ‘fit in with the crowd’ isn’t worth risking their futures.”