Whatz It Feel Like: Teenage Vaping Addiction

Whatz It Feel Like: Teenage Vaping Addiction

– Hey everyone, it’s Laura
here at What’s It Feel Like, and I am coming to you live with Luka. Luka, say hi to everybody. – Hi, how are you guys? – Luka is 16, correct? – Correct, yep, I’m 16. – Luka was on NBC Nightly
News a couple nights ago, talking about vaping and
his experience with it. His addiction to it actually,
that led him to rehab. I reached out to him and
said I found him online, and I said, “Would you
be willing to come talk?” He said, “Let me talk to my mom.” Which was very smart of you, Luka. We arranged it, and he’s here this morning to talk about his experience with vaping, which so many people across this country, it’s on the news everyday,
people are dying, they’re having massive
illnesses with their lungs. So we really wanted to talk about what it feels like to vape. Why kids do it, even adults, and why it’s so addicting. What it feels like to stop, which was clearly not easy for you, Luka. – Oh yeah.
– So start off by introducing yourself
and how your experience started with vaping, what
life was like before vaping. – Yeah, so my name’s Luka Kinard. When I was in 8th grade
is when I first started using tobacco products. So it was the summer before 9th grade, kind of just getting out of 8th. So I was in that in between stage where I was using chewing
tobacco, cigarettes and cigars. I wasn’t really that
much of a fan of them, it was more of just a way to fit in. But it wasn’t until my
freshman year of high school and my first time at a football game that I was really introduced
to vaping or juuling as it was. It was just a way to fit in. I was at a football game in
one of those front row seats, in one of the best ones with older kids and that was my token to get in. So I was doing that for awhile. – Can I interrupt you
about the fitting in thing. Were you not comfortable saying, did you wanna really try
it, or were you just like, “Well everybody else is
doing it, so I guess I will?” – I really didn’t have like a
no or a yes kind of going on, it was just because previously
I’d already been using cigarettes and chewing tobacco. So I was just kind of
like, “Well I’m already “using nicotine anyway,
so this is not bad.” When in reality, it very much was. – Okay. So, you started it and
can you explain to people, because we talked about
this before we hit live, that a lot of people will think, “Oh vaping, so it’s like a water vapor.” It’s just, but really
what it is, is an aerosol, shooting the nicotine
straight into your lungs. – Absolutely, that exactly what it is.
– So tell me, explain to me how it works for you, when you actually use, because some people don’t really know what
juuling or vaping is. – Yeah, so for vaping and juuling, there’s a different type
of nicotine solution that’s in that, that’s
called solvent based nicotine and it’s just a smoother hit. But it’s right there in front of you. They purposely made it so
that when it goes down, it’s not as harsh, so
you’re getting more in. Obviously, you’re not
as drawn away from it. Which also makes it more appealing, which just feeds into your addiction. – So, you try it and then tell me what starts happening to you, physically and mentally,
over the coming months. – Yeah, so I used to be
a straight A student. I quickly went to failing. I used to play two sports. As soon as I started, I quit. I used to do Boy Scouts, my attendance in Boy
Scouts quickly fallen. But it wasn’t until about a month in, when I was like, “Okay, this
is not just a way to fit in, “I’m already fitting in.” All this is, is just gonna
be a stress reliever. I was so dependent on it. As a teenager, we have
so many things going on and things thrown at us. So every single thing that
was being thrown at me, I used as a reason to
validate my addiction. – So why did your grades,
why did you quit sports, why did your grades go down? Because you might say, – Yeah.
– “Just because you were “vaping, I don’t get it.” – My focus had completely changed. My focus was so fixed
on, “Let me get this fix. “Let me get this head rush. “Let me stop being stressed.” So it completely became
not about the other things. Like I personally, my excuse then was, “I don’t have time.” When I had all the time in the world. I just wasn’t making enough time for it. I was making time for other things. – How easy was it to get? – It was super easy. So it was one of three ways. You know, you’re in high school, you’re with people who are
legally able to get it. So I would just say, “Hey,
will you get those for me? “Like I have a few bucks.” Or, just stand out at a
gas station or a smoke shop and say some random stranger
hand him a few bucks. I know at least in my
area, I could honestly just walk into a vape shop
(mumbles) and I wouldn’t be IDed. – Wow. So, you start getting out of sports, you’re grades are failing. When did the addiction get like, “Okay, this is not good. “We’ve got some serious problems here.” – Yeah, so the whole
time it was pretty bad. So I mean, obviously, I
told you about the failing of the school and all the other things I was missing out on, the opportunities, but my relationship with
my family and friends, was really, really toxic. I was very irritable, I
was always aggravated. So I was very hostile, very volatile with all my friends and family. But especially at home
because I live with them. – Especially what? – Because I live with them. – Oh right, right, right (laughs). – So, yeah we definitely
clashed quite a bit. – It was because your focus was on, whenever you weren’t vaping, you were focusing on when you could get that next release for your brain? – Exactly and then I felt like anything that was being said to me
was just wasting my time, or making it more difficult
for me to get that. So I just get more frustrated with myself, or anyone else, honestly. – So your parents tried
to reach out to doctors and tried to get help and finally, about what, 15, 16 months
into you starting vaping, they decide you’ve gotta go to rehab. – Yeah and the reason they
decided to go to rehab was a collection of things. So, throughout my addiction, they had been sending me
to a one on one therapist, psychiatrists, even got
me checked for ADHD. But it wasn’t until September of 2018, when I had a seizure that we
believe is linked with vaping, there’s no definitive answer
that it was linked to vaping, or that it wasn’t. Simply just because the doctor said, “There’s no research we can
rule it in, or rule it out.” But because of all the
other cases we’ve seen and we’ve heard of, we definitely believe it was linked to it. – It was not just a seizure, wasn’t it a grand mal
seizure, which is like, – Yeah.
– a massively dangerous seizure. – Yeah, I had a six
minute grand mal seizure. I’ve never had any
experience with that ever. It’s the only time I ever had it. So it was definitely very scary, as a thing outlier type of thing. That’s what I saw it as. I didn’t see it as, “Okay,
well this just happened. “I just had a seizure.” It was more of, “Well this
happened and life continues.” So, I had no regards for my
life, I had no value for it. – So for people that think, well, I know that cigarettes have an addiction, – Yeah. – Withdrawals with that. Your withdrawals were
very intense in rehab, is that correct? – Yeah, they were definitely very intense. I had a lot of anxiety. I was very tense all
over, especially my back, so my back constantly hurt. I had nausea, insomnia. Also sometimes I had cold
sweats occasionally, as well. I was very shaky. – Can you tell me a little bit more about what rehab felt like to you, and – Yeah.
– your mindset going in and then how it felt, as you
started getting further along in your withdrawals? – Yeah, so mindset going in was just every single emotion imaginable. It was mostly anger. Just like a lot of fear,
because my parents told me the night before I was going
so I had to hop on the plane, early in the morning and I went there. So, there was definitely a
lot of emotions going in, but while I was there,
the first two weeks, I was just kind of, immersed with the idea that I was in California and
not North Carolina anymore. It was definitely very surreal. It was very hard to wrap my head around. I was like, forget where
I was and I was just like, “Well this is just becomes
I can walk wherever I want.” That’s not the case in rehab. You’re very restricted in
what you can and can’t do. There’s constantly people watching you. There are certain things
you can’t use in there, like they don’t have forks. So,
– Oh, yeah. – Very restricting, it
was very restricting. It was very lonely, as well. – Did anybody say to you, “You’re in here for a vaping?” – So, you’re not actually,
so the counselor, they are not supposed to tell them, I guess because of the HIPAA law, but if you were to share
with them personally. So I used to like, I never
had a problem with it. It was just I used to
like drink occasionally. I just told them, “I’m
in here for alcohol.” Just because I (mumbles). So,
– Yeah. – It was, I didn’t tell them
I was there for nicotine and if I did tell them I
was there for nicotine, I was like, “This is so absurd. “Like this is so stupid. “I want out of here.” They were like, “Yeah, this is a weird.” We’re like, “Yeah, your
parents are odd too.” So (mumbles).
– What was your mindset when you got out, Luka? – Hmm? – When you got out? – Oh gosh, yeah. When I got out, it was very overwhelming. Life for you in there stops, while life for everybody
else outside continues. So there was a lot of information I was definitely missing out on, especially being in high school. So when I got out, I was just overwhelmed with this influx of people
telling me this information that I didn’t know about. It was very overwhelming, very scary. – Like what kind of information? You mean just what had been happening since you’d been gone?
– Yeah, exactly. Well, so when I went,
I didn’t tell people. I told three people. The three people I told didn’t know I was gonna be gone for that long. So, when I got back, people were like, “Where did you go?” Some people thought I was dead. Some people thought I moved away. So, it was just a massive
influx of like what happened. – So you’ve kind of, really
in the national media, this vaping. We’re back now. So the vaping epidemic has really started to get into the news, just in the last, like I would say few months, where you’re starting to
hear about people having, in the hospital, I mean, it’s really picked up its trajectory on what people are covering, right? So,
– Yeah. – do you kind of feel like, now, like, “Oh people are starting to get it. “Like I’ve known this for awhile.” “Like vaping
– Yeah. – “destroyed my life.” – Yeah, exactly. It’s definitely kind of like
a, “I told you so moment.” But it’s bittersweet. I had my seizure a year ago. All these incidents and
cases are popping up now. They’ve been going on. Have the deaths necessarily
been going on, no. But it’s very unfortunate and very sad to see that media only covers this now that people are dying. So it’s definitely hard to watch, but it’s bittersweet, because things are starting to finally get done. – Yeah, because as you talked
about before this came on, they were reporting in
the news this morning that Wal-mart’s gonna
stop selling it and Sams. So I think what’s really cool, now, is that you’re going around
and sharing your story across the country. You’re leaving tomorrow for,
to travel across the country to go talk to students. So talk to me a little bit about what you are trying to tell students and the message that you are
trying to tell kids your age? – So obviously, I wanna tell the students that I relate to them, being 16. That’s the biggest thing
that I’m still a student, just like them. If I talk to a group of people and they can’t relate to
me, they’re gonna tune out. But then afterwards, after
I can relate to them, obviously tell them about my whole history and my whole experience with
vaping and tobacco products. Then afterwards, vaping is, or addiction, just addiction in general. Substance abuse and addiction,
is just a lot of shame a lot of personal things going on, more than just a choice
to choose or not to do. I try and tell them some
things that help the mental, tell them that you’re not alone. Try and have them think
about their own values, because in no way possible can I make anybody do
anything they don’t wanna do. – Right. – I always tell the kids,
“If I told you to stand up “and get me a water bottle, “you’re not gonna wanna go do that.” – Right. – So I try and get them to spark their own interests in themselves, so they can figure out their
own values, their own morals, figure out what’s going
on with themselves. But the last three messages
I always tell them, if you’re gonna take three things away. First, take that you’re not alone. That’s the biggest thing,
just within humans, not even just in addiction,
this is just in general, that you’re not alone. That’s the biggest thing
that’s one (mumbles). The second thing I tell them,
to take things day by day. We get so caught up in and so overwhelmed with the hyper focus we have on our future and the unknowns, which is scary, because you know, we
can’t control the future. So I just tell them to
take things day by day, one day at a time about what
you know, which is the present. Then the third thing I
always tell them is that, takes time to improve. You can accept your situation 24/7 and you will be able to grow. You deny your situation
and you’re gonna be right back where you are. – Right. – No way possible do you ever
have to like your situation. No way possible do you
ever have to agree with what you’re going through. You just have to accept it. – And how are you, because I remember, I was like in 9th grade, right, and my girlfriend’s mom, we
would take her smoked cigarettes and relight them,
– Yeah. – and take the end of
the cigarettes, right? Because we were kids and
we were like, “Whatever, “we’re gonna try cigarettes.” Now, taking a cigarette and
putting it in your mouth, is people that don’t want to see that, but the vaping, you can’t see it. They look like, sometimes they look like hard jump drives, I mean,
– Yeah. – they can keep it so easily hidden. But how can you get a kid to say, how can you reach a kid, or a parent, who’s gonna watch this
with their kid today and say, “Dude, just do not even start.” Because, we’re talking to teenagers. You’re a teenager. If someone would’ve told
you that two years ago, would you have listened? – No. Absolutely not. I’ll full on admit that,
is that two years ago, I was in a stage where I was not coherent to anything authority. So I didn’t wanna hear anything. I was a freshman. I thought I knew everything. I was getting into high school, I wasn’t in middle school anymore, so I had this big, inflated ego. But that was just me personally, but if I were to say something to a teen, I’d just, tell them there’s
healthier alternative. Whether you’re dealing with curiosity, to fuel curiosity, spark
curiosity, to relieve stress, to cope with stress. Anger, anything you’re going through. There’s a healthier alternative to do it, than using a vape or a
substance, drinking anything. There’s a healthier alternative. Alternatives that you guys can use, even if you’re done with
an addiction is that, (mumbles) I know that’s
one that people can use. There’s music, athletics, video games. There’s so many things
that we can do as humans, that we enjoy, especially as teenagers. So, just figure out what you like. Constantly try new things. It’ll help you out in the long run. – If you were to tell
your 14 year old self, that was sitting at that football game, and you could in any way explain to him, “You’re gonna end up in rehab. “Your grades are gonna fall. “Your life will be literally dedicated “to nicotine.” – Yeah.
– How, I mean, that’s a big thing that happened to you. When you go to these schools,
do these kids come up and say, “Hey, I’ve been vaping. “Like do you think that’s
gonna happen to me?” Or what do kids say to you about vaping, because, the percentage
of kids vaping right now, is really scary.
– Yeah. So a lot of kids tell me that they do it. A lot of kids tell me that they quit. Then a lot of kids who say
that they haven’t done it, but their friends do it,
or a family member does it. So in some way, everybody’s
been touched by vaping. And, just tobacco in general. So, a lot of times they
ask me how to quit. But the biggest thing they ask
me is not how do I do this, it’s just like, what do I do after? What do I do to relieve my stress? So it’s just giving them the education of like it’s for your
health that you do this. – Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right, because some people, when I was kid and I smoked,
I smoked for the taste. I didn’t smoke for the, and
some people smoked for that short buzz you get off of
that cigarette or vaping. So like,
– Yeah. – while you keep talking
about the stress is that, there is a buzz that happens
because it’s immediate, just like a cigarette,
because it’s aerosoling that nicotine straight into your. – Yeah, you won’t get that buzz for ever. Your tolerance always goes up. So the more your tolerance goes up, the less buzz you get. Which then just fuels your addiction, you go more and more. So, I tell them that it’s
not gonna last for that long, this isn’t gonna last forever. That device isn’t gonna last forever. So if you’re gonna choose something that you have to change
anyways, why don’t you make it a healthier alternative? – Weren’t you at one point,
smoking the equivalent of like, was it 80? I saw one of your talks,
– Yeah. So, I was smoking four juul pods a day. For those that don’t know,
one juul pod is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in nicotine. So, do the math of four
times 20 and that’s 80. So, I was definitely pretty deep into it. – You were not only talking to schools, but you’ve been talking to,
you’ve been to D.C., correct? Tell me about that.
– Yeah. So I’ve been to D.C.,
New York, California, Minnesota, about to go to Montana. I’ve also been to South Carolina. But I definitely done
some big work in D.C. I had a meeting with the FDA, the CDC, other health officials. Parents Against Vaping
E-Cigarettes, my mom. Campaign for Tobacco Free
Kids and Truth Initiative and also the U.S. Surgeon General. So I’ve definitely done some work in D.C. Then in North Carolina, my own state, I’ve done a press conference with the NC State Attorney General. – These people are listening, correct? They want to hear from you. I mean, you spoke in front
tobacco votes, correct? – Yeah, absolutely. The goal is for them to listen. So, I hope they are. – Yeah. So, if you have one thing,
if you were to sum up what vaping feels like
and being addicted to it, for parents and teens that are watching, how would you describe what it feels like to have gone through this process, to be addicted and to have tried this? – It’s very lonely. You’re going through a lot of shame. Each mistake you make, you
think that you’re a mistake. The last thing you ever
wanna do to somebody, is let them know you’re insecure
and meet your weaknesses. So you’re very trapped. That’s the biggest thing I can say, is that you feel so
trapped in your abilities. So, the more we shun somebody, the more we ostracize somebody, the more we make somebody feel bad for what they’re going through is the more that they’re
just gonna be addicted, the more that they’re gonna
wanna go off from you, isolate from you. So those words of encouragement
are accepting words and accepting mistakes and being
just supportive in general, and being a shoulder for them, is what’s gonna be their biggest asset. – I can’t tell you how
much I appreciate you, taking the offer from a complete stranger to get on and talk on her platform that you’ve never heard of. I’m so happy for you,
that you got through this. It’s a really tough age to have gone through this in your life. But the fact that you’re
telling your story and sharing your story, which
is what we’re all about, and creating change,
is just, it’s awesome. – Thank you, so much.
– I’m really, really proud to have met you and
talked to you about this. I know that your mom and
I had talked about maybe if I could ask her a few questions about what it felt like on her end, so is it okay if we bring her in and I can ask
– Yeah. – Her a couple questions? – Yeah, we can do that. – All right. Thank you so much, Luka. – Yeah, thank you so much. Have a great–
– Have a good trip. This is Kelly. Hi, Kelly. – Hello. – She created a Facebook account, just so we could do this. (laughing) – It’s a step into the modern world. – Step into the modern world. Kelly, thank you so very much for allowing Luka to share his story. I just wanted to ask you
a couple of questions, because I know this had to have been an incredibly stressful time for you. When did you find out that his vaping had caused his decline in his lifestyle? – It took some time, a few
weeks after he started, before I put two and two together, because even though his
behavior changed rapidly, we didn’t at first,
connect it with nicotine and then with juul. – Right.
– At first, I thought, “Oh, he woke up one
day with psychiatric issues.” Then after a few weeks, I realized that I thought it was nicotine withdrawals. Then, slowly information
started coming out about juul and the massive dose of
nicotine it delivered and the effects of it and so I was able to put two and two together
and go on from there. – But Kelly, to hear that it
was a few weeks, is crazy. Like some people might
be like, “Oh my kid, “they’re gonna try vaping once or twice. “I know I can’t help that.” But in a few weeks, he
had completely changed. – Oh absolutely. It was drastic. When he talks about
being irritable at home, that’s an understatement. He was explosive to the point where he was kicking in the back door, taking our dishes and throwing them, destroying furniture, kicking
in the side of my car. It was usually over something as minor as, “You can’t go out tonight,
because you have homework.” Or, “Why have you not done your homework?” Oh and occasionally, we’d
find a juul and destroy it and that usually caused a huge explosion. – Well we’ve done
stories on this platform, on What’s It Feel Like,
before, about addiction. But, I’m shocked to hear
that that is the response that these kids are having
to vaping withdrawals. I mean, that’s, the
first I’ve heard of that. I’m no addition expert,
but that’s, that’s extreme. – I don’t think it was withdrawals. At first, I thought it was, but I think it’s actually causing it. – Causing it. – Yeah, I think the
massive dose of nicotine, causes impulse control, cognitive, loss of function, ADHD symptoms. So and they knew that
nicotine already caused that, from cigarette smoking. – Right.
– And when you multiply that times 100, that’s why we were seeing such huge, drastic changes. – When he had that grand mal seizure, which I know that the doctors have not, cannot definitively connect
that to the nicotine, but he hasn’t one since, correct? – That’s correct. He had no history of seizures. – No history. What was that like for you? That had to have been
a major turning point, or I don’t know. Tell me what that was like for you. – It was terrifying, obviously, because we realized he could have died. – Well yeah, a six minute
grand mal seizure is, – Exactly! Or he could’ve ended up with
irreversible brain damage. – Yeah. – So, I mean, but it was so frustrating, because when we were at the ER, the doctors wouldn’t
test him for nicotine, because at that point, there
was so little information out there about the juul, that, and they had never heard of it. So, all they would say was that, “Well this isn’t consistent
with nicotine use.” Because they were thinking about like kids – Cigarette.
– smoking cigarettes. Kids can’t smoke that many cigarettes and they didn’t realize
what kids were doing. – Right. – So, it was very frustrating, because that’s when, we
had already been struggling with therapists and getting
them to pay attention. But after this, then it
flipped over to where the medical field,
pediatrician, neurologist, cardiologist, they were being just as ineffective as the therapists. So it increased our frustration. – Because this was about a year ago, it was a little over a year
ago, this was starting, because he’s been clean for almost a year. But this was before all
these reports were coming out and people were going, “Huh, hmm.” – Right. – “Wonder if vaping has something to do “with all these lung issues we’re seeing “and all these behavioral
issues, correct?” – That’s correct. – Yeah.
– And so. Go ahead. – There were articles
at that time about juul and coming out more and more frequently, but none of them, well very few were mentioning the behavioral changes. – Okay. – Parents were seeing, and parents were keeping it quiet too, because,
there was a sense of shame and I’ve spoken with other parents, who haven’t told anyone, haven’t told their families and friends and when they read our story, it gives them some strength to say, “Yes, it’s happening to us too.” That’s what made us
realize, at first we thought we were the only ones. But after the article came out and we started getting
contacted by parents all over the country, we realized, it’s happening everywhere. – Gosh, isn’t it crazy how powerful it is to share your story and not feel – It is.
– alone? My goodness, we talked about
that on the phone yesterday. Talk about the decision
to put him in rehab and what that felt like for you. You had to send him to
California, for 40 days. Tell me how that,
– Exactly. – felt for you, and what that decision making process was like? – It was hard. I had been searching for local treatment. Even outpatient treatment. I was looking for a therapist, who specialized in
adolescence and addiction. Even though the one he had, claimed to focus on
adolescence and addiction, she still wouldn’t consider
nicotine addiction a problem. When I told her what it was doing to him, she told me to back off, that he needed juul for his anxiety. – So then I would argue back and say that he didn’t have anxiety
before he started juuling. – Right. – So, you know, we went round and round. So, that’s where the frustration started, in getting him treatment. So then I looked at youth focused programs and I called the insurance company. We spoke with his pediatrician. He didn’t know what to do about it and I don’t think any of
them did, at that point. But I knew that Luka was acting like he had a substance abuse problem, so he needed to be treated as
if he had a substance abuse. He didn’t need a nicotine patch. He didn’t need Nicorette gum. He needed to be forced
to quit cold turkey. I realized that if we did
an outpatient local program, he would’ve then gone
to school and juuled. So, it wouldn’t have gotten him off of it. He had no desire to quit. He didn’t see a problem
with what he was doing and he had no intentions of ever quitting. So, then we had to start
searching all over for help and the insurance company actually ended up being
our friend in this battle. – That’s great. – I know, I called them and I told them that he had a substance abuse problem. I told them how he was acting and I told them the substance
was juul and they agreed. They tried to help me find local help, throughout the state,
the surrounding states. They allowed me to expand my search. So, that’s how we ended up in California. – He did not wanna go, when you sent him. – No, he did not go willingly. We didn’t tell him,
til the evening before. We were leaving at three in the morning, to go to the airport and he was, he threw some items around the house, destroyed some property. Said he wasn’t going and I lied to him. He gives me a hard time about it, but I told him it would only
be for about eight days, that he needed to try
it and knowing full well that it was 35 to 45 days. So, he found that out
when he got out there, that I had lied, but he does admit that he wouldn’t have gone otherwise. – Right.
– I had to threaten to call the police and have them take him and put him on the plane. So that helped.
– Wow. What advice, Kelly, we talk
about this all the time, I mean I was having this
conversation with friends on a walk a few weeks ago about, the kids in the school
know who the kid is, that brings all the cartridges,
the vaping cartridges. I talked to somebody else just last night, who, a bunch of kids in
his school got in trouble, because they all came out
smelling like vanilla, because a lot of these
cartridges are a flavor, or they have scents to them. So they all got in trouble collectively, because his son had gotten in trouble five months before that for vaping. But what can you tell parents that are like, “How?” I guess what I’m saying is,
teenagers are gonna be like, “We know, we know, don’t
do this, it’s dangerous.” What advice can you give parents about things to watch for and
things to say to their kids, because your son, was on
a very, very bad path. Thank, by the grace of God, he is okay, but what can you tell other parents? – We tried everything. We tried bribery, punishment
and we found that, none of that worked. What he needed was support. I tell schools this, as well. If he had been suspended, it would’ve given him the opportunity to stay home and vape all day. So suspending kids
isn’t the answer either. They need resources. There aren’t enough adolescent
resources for any issue. – No. – (laughs) This made it very clear, this whole situation. So, they need resources. They need to be cut some slack. We put a lot of pressure on them. You’re no longer, they no longer can take a regular high school class. They have to take AB, IB, honors. None of the regular classes are enough. So, they have to take 9th grade math when they’re in 8th
grade and 10th grade math when they’re in 9th grade. We need to slow down and stop pushing them to succeed so quickly. Take some of the pressure off them and give them a chance to stay kids. – If they try it and a parent finds out, do you, would you, what would you suggest that they handle that situation, if they find out they’ve been vaping, because I believe that
you can do nicotine tests on kids now, to see if
it’s in their system? – Yes, we did that (laughs). – Just like you can do a drug test. (mumbling)
How, looking back, how would you have handled it differently, if you had the chance? Or maybe you wouldn’t have? – I would’ve, at first,
when I thought it was just when he was vaping and I
thought it wasn’t as dangerous. Now that information is,
I realize it’s not true, but the information’s out there, so parents need to understand. Parents need to get educated about this, because a lot of parents are saying, “My child would never do that.” I learned the hard way, “Yes, your child, “my child would do that.” But, never say that. – Yeah. – I don’t know what a parent can do, besides just support their kid and have a conversation,
non-judgmental conversation with them and explain to them the facts. They need to share Luka’s
story or other stories, from their peers. – Yeah. – Teens are wired to not listen to adults, so it’s really hard to
get through to them. – Right. But Luka, after three
weeks, his entire life completely changed after vaping. He dropped his, he
started failing classes, he dropped out of sports. His complete behavior changed
and 15, 16 months later, after trying vaping, he ended
up in rehab for 40 days, after having a six
minute grand mal seizure. That’s his story.
– Right. That’s what parents need to hear. They need to hear that this is dangerous. I think it’s sad, but it’s helpful that it’s being reported
about what’s going on right now with all the lung issues, the kids in ICU with their
medically induced comas, and unfortunate passings of people. – Right.
– Parents need to pay attention to that,
because it’s dangerous. – Yes. Well I am so inspired by the both of you, for taking a really personal and private and hard situation and
sharing it with people. Because, you’re affecting
every time he speaks in front of students and
you speak to parents, you’re making them change
their thought process and maybe having a conversation
they hadn’t had before and we have had heard
a lot of people saying, “You need to talk about vaping
and what’s it feel like.” I kept being like, “Well
I don’t wanna just have “a parent on there
that’s like, I’m scared.” Then Luka shows up that night on TV and I’m like, “I’m gonna find that kid “and I’m gonna talk to him,
because he seems great.” (laughing) So thank you so much, for
allowing me to do that and for sharing your story too. – Thank you so much. – I wish you all the best of luck, on your trip tomorrow. Keep spreading the word and
keep doing what you’re doing, Kelly, it’s awesome work. – Thank you. – Okay, well keep in touch. I wanna keep posted on him.
– I will. – All right.
– Absolutely. – Thanks so much, have a great trip. – Thank you.
– Bye. – Bye, bye.


  1. I still dont get it… rehab for vaping? Addiction? Sorry but its bullshit.. I’m a heroin user and that is addiction. Omg this is so stupid..

    Oh and here in Italy electronic sigarettes are super popolar but we have none of the problems all of you americans are having

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