Timothy Christian School recently welcomed Michael DeLeon, founder of Steered Straight, Inc. who shared his personal testimony with drug addiction and served as an encyclopedia of knowledge about vaping, JUUling, other drugs and alcohol.

During his seminar titled: Vaping Me Crazy, DeLeon spoke to a crowd of about 100 parents in the evening at TCS and then to HS students the following morning.

“I believe we are facing an impending national pandemic. Vaping is much more dangerous than cigarettes and most kids who are starting it were not smoking cigarettes first.”

DeLeon addressed why youth even begin to consider vaping in the first place, the potential consequences related to its use, as well as prevention and intervention methods. Consolidating all his knowledge into two hours was not enough, but the goal was and is to inform families that there is more to this addiction than they may assume.

Consider this, 25% of teens surveyed don’t even call what they’re doing, “vaping”. They call it “JUULing” and they often don’t consider it the same thing. Since many states don’t have age restrictions for vape purchases, kids often don’t believe that it’s even harmful to them. While the legal age for purchasing tobacco products and electronic smoking devices in New Jersey is 21, many underage children in NJ are being found using these products.

“This is such an important topic because it’s impacting so many children who get started with vaping without even considering the consequences. We want to inform our families at TCS so that they are well prepared and can work to prevent the use of vaping/JUUling from the onset,” says TCS High School Principal, Laura McKay.

According to DeLeon, the threats to our youth continue to change; new terminology is being used and it can leave parents in the dark. DeLeon urges parents to talk with their children about these topics and offers 3-minute conversations parents can have during a meal with their children in his book, Table Talks. This, and many other resources including drug tests for home use, are available on his website, Steered Straight, Inc.

His entire presentation at TCS can be viewed here.