According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there have been over 800 cases of lung injury and 12 vaping-related deaths. While the mystery surrounding the illnesses continues to grow so too is the local push to educate parents.
Lori Bednarek, a Palm Beach County mother of two teens says she’s in contact with her children at least 13-times a day. She also not uncomfortable asking questions regarding e-cigarettes.
“It takes parents initiating more conversations,” said Bednarek. “It’s a lot more common than parents think.”
While other parents like Joni Martin says it takes communication, trust, respect and the occasional room inspection.
“I think you really have to scare the living daylights out of them,” said Martin. "I know what my daughter has in her room. I think if you don't - you're in denial."
But experts within Palm Beach County’s Behavioral Health Coalition call these parents exceptions. Not the norm. They point to the alarming number of high-schoolers who vape as the proof.
“20-percent - that’s ridiculously high,” said Alexa Lee, Palm Beach County Behavioral Health Coalition director of programs.
And in response to the mounting lawsuits filed involving teens and e-cigarettes.
“They can’t hold the company accountable - it’s a lack of parenting,” said Martin.
To educate parents the Palm Beach County Behavioral Health Coalition has started a traveling seminar called, Dangers of Vaping to educate the entire family. Lee says your child’s life could depend on it.
“I just think they’re uneducated,” she said.
The next seminar happens Sept. 29 at Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton at 11:45am. To request a seminar visit: https://pbcbhc.org/