Most college students might cringe at the idea of helping their Mom teach kids about the dangers of vaping. And all college students would no doubt find every excuse not to spend hour after hour with their Mom recording educational short webinars and hosting live quit sessions on Zoom about the greater risk for serious complications of vaping and COVID-19.
However, Maddie Athanasiou knew that the time was right to help her Mom, Heather. A doctor and Community in Crisis’s vaping program lead, Heather wanted to encourage those who smoke or vape to take another look at that life choice. With teens reporting that the social aspect of vaping is one of the top three reasons for choosing to vape, now seemed like a great opportunity to nudge young people to take the leap and quit during the stay-at-home orders that have eliminated the social aspect of vaping.
During their first ‘Quit for Covid’ Zoom session, a 12 year old girl appeared on camera, much to Heather and Maddie’s surprise. After sitting patiently and attentively through the entire 30 minute presentation, she was the first to jump in at the end with excellent questions about the best resources for helping people to quit. It turns out that she was worried about her grandfather, a heavy smoker, and wanted to learn more so that she could help him quit. She explained that she had read about the potential for health complications of Covid-19 if you smoked or vaped, and she decided to do all she could to learn more about what they were and how to help him quit, because she loved him so much.
What an act of love where three people came together to help others. In a time of disconnect, stress and hopelessness, three women found a connection, a shared goal and an inspiration to improve the lives of others.
The Community in Crisis vaping program is broken down into four 12-minute videos and one 25-minute video (including COVID-19 and Quit resources). 20 quiz questions and several discussion points are also provided for the video topics so that health and PE teachers have ready-to-go classes that have engaging and relevant content at a time when teachers are very challenged. These can also be sent out to families so that they could view them with their kids if they choose to. These videos have been made available to schools and school districts at no charge. All information is backed up by facts and research, and are evidence informed.