Vaping, the healthy alternative to smoking! Or so manufacturer ad campaigns would like you to believe. Though breathing aerosol vapor is somewhat less harmful than the well-known lethal poison of traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals and nicotine that can lead to addiction and compromised health. LGBTQ youth are especially vulnerable to predatory ad campaigns and peer pressure. While vape makers advertise their candy-flavored chemical dependence with colorful cartoons, blatantly targeting youth as their next consumer market, vaping has serious impacts the developing brain.
- Examine the health impacts of e-cigarettes and vaping on adolescents.
- Increase awareness of the unique vulnerabilities of LGBTQ youth that may make vaping more prevalent and nicotine addiction more concerning.
- Consider the vaping industry’s claims that using e-cigarettes is effective harm reduction for smokers.
- Explore best practices to support LGBTQ young people in avoiding or quitting their use of e-cigarettes.
Kate Bishop, MSSA, the Education Coordinator at the LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton, is a seasoned professional development trainer with expertise in working with LGBTQ populations, sexual and reproductive health care, adolescent development, intimate partner violence, and sexual trauma. She is certified as a trainer through GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) as well as SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Before joining the Chase Brexton team, she developed the capacity building program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s STAR TRACK Adolescent HIV program, providing cultural responsiveness trainings for agencies that serve sexual minority youth of color. Ms. Bishop holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from Hiram College and a Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University.