Hello, my name is Jason McCoy. I’ve worked in substance prevention for the past eight years specializing in nicotine addiction and marketing toward youth. My primary focus has been on the rise of electronic nicotine delivery systems, which is a big word for vaping. As you can imagine, over the last eight years, many new products, new trends, and increasingly addictive vape juice have led us down a path to teen addiction to nicotine once more.
You see, teens today have access to more information in the palm of their hands than my generation did in our entire library system. They’ve been trained to search out what they want to know, and where to find it. This wealth of information has provided us with a generation of over-inundated students seeking the truth in a sea of misinformation.
That’s where I come in. We’ll take a journey through the facts, and that will include resources to make your job easier. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or teenager looking for the answers, I will provide you with tools to enable you to reach your goals.
Allow me to start with a little about myself. I certainly didn’t intend to land between a multibillion-dollar addiction for-profit industry and your children. Growing up, my parents didn’t smoke, I only ever had one friend who was a smoker. None of my family members suffered from COPD, lung cancer, or other serious illnesses due to this addictive product.
True story, I meant to be a dietitian. As I attended the University of North Dakota to pursue this goal, I had an ‘Aha’ moment. A friend in our program turned me on to the fact that there was another degree called community nutrition. As I looked into this related field, I discovered a calling to help as many people as possible. This study prepared me to travel just a whole hour south to North Dakota State University, where I received my Master’s in Public Health.
My grad school advisor recommended me for a local public health position. Being a poor grad student, I had every intention of taking on work as soon as possible. Showing up for the interview, I was under the impression that I would be hired to work on nutrition and helping kids exercise more. Little did I know, the grant-funded position was in tobacco control. After surprising me with this information, I preceded to partake in the fastest interview process of my life. Evidently, I said the right things, as I was hired the next day.
My predecessor had already exited her position, so I had no one to teach me the basics of tobacco control or community engagement. This proved to be a wonderful blessing in disguise. I wrote my master’s thesis on vaping and policy interventions and was able to do a deep dive into all of the current research related to vaping and youth nicotine use. Through this study, I developed a deeper understanding of this topic which I will now provide to you.
Stay tuned, we have much to cover around this topic. In the meantime, I am creating a newsletter where I will provide the latest news about the tobacco/vaping industry along with tips and tools to help you. You can sign up here: