What to Avoid When Talking About Vaping with Kids—the Ad Council & American Lung Association

American Lung Association #Do the Vape Talk

The #DoTheVapeTalk push comes in the wake of reports showing a recent decline in the vaping rate among high school students.

In case you imagined how difficult it would be to get your child’s attention off their phone to discuss their day at school, now think about how difficult it is to discuss the vaping subject with them.

That is the motivation behind the Ad Council and the American Lung Association’s public service announcement calling upon parents to talk about the risks linked to vaping with their kids.

The crusade dubbed #DoTheVapeTalk comes in the midst of reports revealing a drop in the vaping cases among high-school-going children rising concerns about an upsurge in the number of teenagers turning out as nicotine enthusiasts. 2021  data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that around 11 percent of high-school-going children, or 1.7 million, as well as 2.8 percent of middle school kids, equivalent to 320,000, consume electronic cigarettes.

VP and group campaign director at Ad Council, Cece Wedel, stated that “with the commencement of the new school year, being aware of the impeding peer pressure and additional stress that students are likely to encounter—and that those are the issues that mainly influence children towards vaping—although, to parents, it may sound like it’s not the right time… the truth of the matter is that children get into vaping early.”

American Lung Association #Do the Vape Talk

In 2020, the two organizations started a campaign to sensitize the youth against vaping where parents were also stakeholders.

This time, again, Hill Holliday designed the nonprofit’s campaign pro bono. The current iteration airs live on widespread dance videos to inform parents on ways of engaging their kids in vaping subject. The iteration features Russell Horning, an influencer who attracted a huge following and gained the nickname “The Backpack Kid” after sharing videos where he displayed dance moves while carrying his backpack, including his signature move, called The Floss.

According to Wedel, they were looking for something that could bring excitement, and being aware of the influence of dance trends, they managed to create a moment for them. “We are really just using that as the catalyst and an entry point to have these difficult discussions,” Wedel said.

The video, which lasts 60 seconds, starts with a father seated on a couch stating that every day, thousands of children start vaping.

He goes on to explain that he cannot allow that to happen to his child, acknowledging that indeed it’s not easy for parents to discuss the negative effects of vaping with their kids.

The man is then seen making an attempt to get down to her kid’s level to meet her.

He says, “Hey bestie! How sketch is–”and then the door slams in his face.

He finds an idea that the best way to handle the vaping subject is to make the topic go viral. The father and daughter, alongside the Backpack Kid, films a video where they dance with flashing banners displaying a message about the negative effects of vaping.

The father then says, “Honey, can we talk?”

The daughter agrees. At the end of the ad, a link to the campaign website, TalkAboutVaping.org, is shared, where you can find tips concerning such discussions.

Wedel said that parents play an integral and sensitive role, and so they are in a better position to step in and trigger these discussions early. “The website is really a great resource.” He added.

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