So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

If you are the parent of a teenager, you have most likely heard about teens’ rampant use of vaping. Kids are inhaling on the bus, juuling at school, and secretly storing their stashes right under their parents’ noses.

This week, one Colorado high school is making headlines for taking action against the growing epidemic—and it’s a hard line our kids desperately need to see taken. 

Crowley County High School in Ordway, Colorado announced on Facebook Thursday its volleyball team would be forfeiting a scheduled match that night because of “team issues regarding widespread vaping and other school infractions”. CCHS cited its student handbook in the decision, saying it did not make the decision lightly, but rules had to be followed. 

And as a mom of teens, I’ve seen news of vaping and the serious dangers it presents to our kids on the rise, so I’m giving all the props to CCHS for taking this stand. While some may prefer to turn a blind eye to rules infractions when it comes to athletics, the school chose to send a message to its students—and parents—about the seriousness of the behavior. 

Way. To. Go.

Vaping is a growing epidemic amongst our children, teetering on epic proportions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse vape usage has been increasing exponentially year over year.

More than 37 percent of 12th graders reporting vaping in the past 12 months in 2018 as compared to 27 percent in 2017. 

Vaping is the use of an electronic device to ingest nicotine without the smoke and tar that comes from burning tobacco. The e-cigarettes come in a host of slick designs, some as small as a portable USB drive. This enables underage users to easily palm the devices or even keep it out in the open without parental eyes even knowing what it is. The most brazen of teens are taking a hit off them while their teachers aren’t looking or even in the hallways at school.

Vaping was originally marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes, and a way for smokers to wean themselves off of the product. Seeing a tremendous market opportunity, vaping product companies started offering products in tasty flavors, such as mint, mango, and vanilla crème. 

As with all things too good to be true, a mysterious lung disease linked to inhaling vapor has killed six people and caused several hundred more to become ill and suffer respiratory damage. Most teens love the flavors and do not understand the products still contain dangerous levels of nicotine. Some Juul cartridges contain the same amount of nicotine as a carton of cigarettes.

Middle and high schools across the country have seen the vaping epidemic coming and are trying to address it through aggressive education.

My three teen daughters learned about vaping three years ago during health class in middle school, and their high school has a zero-tolerance policy. For athletes, if they get caught using e-cigarettes, even on social media, they will be suspended from their team.

As CCHS underscored this week, it doesn’t matter how many games our kids win or what grades they earn if they are too sick—or worse, are not alive—to enjoy those achievements. The dangers associated with vaping are legit and deserve our attention and action.

Until federal regulations catch up with the pace of vaping, we need to take a stand for our kids, and unfortunately, that means hitting them where it hurts. While it is unfortunate for those students who did not partake, a team has to abide by the rules together.

Parents, talk to your kids about this pervasive issue. Start young and keep the conversations going.

For more information, visit https://www.tobaccofreeco.org/know-the-facts/

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

The Disorder that Literally Makes Me Want to Pull Out My Hair

In: Living, News
Woman with long red hair, wearing a hat, color photo

The news came out last month that Amy Schumer, an American comedian and actress, suffers from trichotillomania (also known as TTM). If you aren’t familiar with what that is, it means she pulls her hair out—literally. Schumer announced she would be talking about her struggle with trichotillomania, which she also refers to as her “big secret” in her new show. Let me first address the elephant in the room, in case you haven’t already guessed it. I, too, suffer from trichotillomania. My personal struggle manifests not in my hair, but in my eyelashes. There, I said it. It’s been my...

Keep Reading

16-Year-Old Saved From Kidnapper By Flashing TikTok Hand Signal For Help

In: Living, News

With all the dangers for our kids on social media, it’s pretty darn refreshing to hear of the good that can come from it. I don’t know about you, but these days I often need a reminder that many things (and people) are a mixed bag! It helps me not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. So when I heard earlier this week that TikTok helped save a life, I was genuinely intrigued—and thrilled. A harrowing scene unfolded in Kentucky last week when a 16-year-old girl, desperate to escape the 61-year-old man holding her captive, began flashing...

Keep Reading

“Dear Kobe”: Vanessa Bryant’s Speech at Her Late Husband’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Was the Definition of Love

In: Grief, News

If I can be honest, I’m not an avid NBA fan.  But along with the rest of the world, I was rocked by the loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna—lovingly known as Gigi—and seven other victims in a tragic helicopter crash in January of 2020.  In the months since the accident I’ve followed Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, on Instagram and have been in absolute awe of her strength, grace, and dedication to honoring the legacies of both Kobe and Gigi. As a fellow wife and mama, my heart has broken for her over and over. The magnitude of her...

Keep Reading

Queen Elizabeth’s Husband Prince Philip, the Love of Her Life, Dies at 99

In: Living, News

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.” When I read these words in a Facebook message from my cousin this morning, I called out “Oh no!” aloud, even though I sat in an empty house with no one to hear me. As an avid royal watcher since I was a teen, I had been expecting this announcement, but it still hit hard. After all, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II for a full 73...

Keep Reading

New Zealand Approves the Paid Leave For Pregnancy Loss I Wish I’d Had

In: Loss, Motherhood, News
Sad woman sitting by window

They didn’t show it to me in the movies. What I saw on the big screen up until then was, “Here’s how happy parents look when they have their babies,” not “Here’s how you grieve when you find out you’re carrying life in your womb before you suddenly find out that life couldn’t survive inside of you.” I didn’t know anyone who had a miscarriage at the time. I didn’t understand how common it was. So after making my boss aware of my mid-day doctor’s appointment after which I assumed I’d come back with a shinier, pregnant-mom glow—I instead found...

Keep Reading

NCAA Weight Room Disparities Show What Female Athletes Have Always Known: It’s Not Equal

In: News

In the fall of 2000, I wrote a college term paper on Title IX emphasizing how the civil rights law is supposed to make sports equal for girls and women. As a freshman soccer player at the time, I had a lot to learn, but in regards to sports equality, had already experienced a lot . . . only I hadn’t yet realized the great disparities and misogyny. If you haven’t seen it, Sedona Prince, a forward from the Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team posted a viral TikTok video showing the immense disparities between the women’s weight room and that...

Keep Reading

‘Saved By the Bell’ Star Dustin Diamond Dead At 44

In: Cancer, News
Screech on Saved By the Bell

The actor who played loveable nerd Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved By the Bell has died at age 44.  Dustin Diamond revealed he had cancer just last month after he was admitted to a Florida hospital with severe pain.  Diamond’s spokesperson told NBC News in a statement today: “We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma. He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and...

Keep Reading

To the Mom Who Helped Sarah Fuller Make Football History: I See You

In: Motherhood, News
Sarah Fuller Twitter photo

Dear Windi Fuller, mother of Sarah Fuller: After seeing your daughter, Sarah Fuller, make history as the kicker for the Vanderbilt football team this weekend, I started doing a little research on her. As one mother to another, I can only imagine how incredibly proud you must be. I’m sure this weekend was a proud moment, but I’m not sure people know the success that Sarah has already achieved in her fairly short life. Leading Vandy’s Women’s Soccer Team to an SEC Tournament Title. Graduating with her undergrad and now working on her master’s degree. The philanthropic work that she...

Keep Reading

Say it Ain’t So, 2020: Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek Dead at 80

In: News
Alex Trebek Jeopardy! host

Just when you thought the year 2020 couldn’t get any harder to take, news broke this morning that longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died this morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM — Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020 The show announced Trebek’s death on Twitter Sunday morning, saying the beloved television host was surrounded by family and friends when he died peacefully at home.  As host of the quiz show since 1984, Trebek became a...

Keep Reading

2020 Delivers Another Blow: RBG Dies at 87

In: News
Ruth Bader Ginsberg

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died at the age of 87. She died surrounded by family at her home in Washington, DC from complications of metastatic pancreas cancer, according to a statement released by the court. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” said Chief Justice John Roberts in the release. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her—a tireless and resolute champion of justice.” When Justice Ginsberg was appointed to the court in...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections