The prevalence of e-cigarettes has grown exponentially since they emerged in the mid-2000s, and their popularity and normalization has outpaced research on their safety. A tremendous gap exists in public health education regarding their potential short- and long-term health effects.
Because of increased use among youth and likely health risks, there are strong calls from government, researchers, and advocacy groups to develop youth-targeted prevention efforts. At the same time, scientific discussions continue about e-cigs’ potential value as an adult cessation tool or tobacco harm reduction alternative. This confluence fuels the normalization of e-cig use and misperceptions of their safety, leading to a growing public health problem. This is particularly true among youth, whose developing brains increase their vulnerability.
KDHRC is currently developing the AVOID toolkit, which will be anchored by brief, web-based videos designed to educate youth 12-16 years old on the potential risks associated with e-cig use. Community-based youth-serving organizations can use the videos and accompanying discussion guides to build youths’ knowledge, heighten perceived risk, promote anti-vaping attitudes, and decrease intentions to use e-cigs.
At the completion of the AVOID toolkit development, KDHRC will evaluate its ability to increase youth’s knowledge, heighten perceived risk, promote protective attitudes, and decrease intentions to use e-cigs.
KDHRC is currently developing the brief educational videos and online toolkit platforms to sustain AVOID. Pre-register for access to these materials.
Findings and outcomes related to the evaluation of the AVOID toolkit will be published in written briefs and peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences.