For Isabel Kagoo, a night out was all it took.
“I went to a party and saw a lot of my friends vaping, juuling, and using e-cigarette products,” said Kagoo.
She noticed a troubling trend with teens and tobacco use.
Isabel told us most of her peers believe vapes and e-cigs are harmless.
“When I asked them about it, they told me ‘they are harmless. I’m not going to get a disease. I’ll be just fine. I’m not going to have any addiction.’ I had this feeling something wasn’t quite right.”
It’s no secret that teen e-cigarette use is climbing.
Food and Drug Administration leaders are concerned with teen usage.
Leaders called the rise in numbers an “epidemic” surge.
They are concerned about teens becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine.
It’s one of the reasons Isabel is leading the way to educate teens about it.
“I realized if no one talks about this, you’re going to have millions of kids develop cancer and life-threatening diseases. Someone had to step up and say this is not right.”
Isabel is one of 12 TN Strong Ambassadors.
These are teens from across Tennessee who will work together to help promote a tobacco-free life for their peers.
Isabel wants to amend Tennessee health education standards and create a curriculum to include information, so students know about e-cigarettes and vapes, and their harmful effects.
She believes health classes are not addressing the issues enough.
“It’s very minimal, they’re not talking about how to quit or what’s in it,” said Kagoo. “It’s nothing substantial.”