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Community Education on Vaping and Dental Health


The decision to focus on the oral health implications of the use of e-cigarettes or vaping has been made, and the main reason for choosing this area is the spreading myth about e-cigarettes’ total safety in terms of health. The mentioned misconception results in the increasing rates of product use-associated lung injury and deaths from this condition in both teenagers and adults (Irusa et al., 2020). U.S. citizens’ awareness of possible links between vaping and life-threatening conditions, including oral cancer, is limited (Rouabhia, 2020). It is reasonable to think that the situation with awareness is even worse when it comes to dental health abnormalities that do not necessarily manifest themselves clearly or develop at an increased pace. Common people’s informedness on potential connections between e-cigarettes, periodontal disease, gum inflammation, tooth decay, and systemic diseases is very limited, especially if attention is paid to school-age consumers of vaping products (Rouabhia, 2020). The proposed community education initiative aims to address this knowledge gap and provide those using e-cigarettes with a comprehensive education on the oral health risks of vaping and the rationale for quitting the habit.

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Target Group

The determination of the target audience should be based on the recent e-cigarette use statistics from authoritative agencies that highlight age-specific groups in which the incidence of this habit grows at a tremendously high speed. As per the National Center for Health Statistics (2020), teenagers in grades 9-12 are among the demographic groups with the fastest-growing e-cigarette use rates. Nowadays, more than 20% of individuals in the group vape at least once a month (NCHS, 2020). In the period between 2011 and 2018, there was a 900% increase in the proportion of e-cigarette smokers in the aforementioned group (NCHS, 2020). There is a number of possible meeting places for this demographic, but reaching this audience at public schools seems the most appropriate choice. Nationwide studies suggest that vaping is especially common in white and Hispanic male school students (Gentzke et al., 2019). The socio-economic status of teenage e-cigarette users has not been studied profoundly, so the issue might be relevant to children from diverse backgrounds. The same scarcity of information exists in terms of the discussed group’s general health – the target population might include teenagers with different chronic conditions affecting the respiratory system and the oral cavity.

Stakeholders/Community Partners

The first and the most critical partner is presented by school districts in the area where the program will be implemented. Their relevance to the project deals with these stakeholders’ power to provide the team with a physical platform to disseminate research-based information on vaping and associated dental health risks among teenage school students. Another stakeholder group would include organizations established by parents for the purpose of protecting child health, for instance, the National Association of Parents. Such partners’ informational power can help them to increase society’s awareness of the teenage vaping epidemic and its dental health effects, which makes parent organizations highly relevant to the initiative. Finally, collaboration with pediatric physicians at local outpatient clinics can be relevant to the project’s goals since these professionals see multiple teenage patients on a daily basis. Particularly, they could support the project by providing their patients from the specified age cohort with free informational leaflets on e-cigarettes’ contributions to oral disease.

Planning Model(s)

Two models, including the Health Belief Model and the PRECEDE-PROCEED Model, have been selected to determine and plan the methods of achieving the intended goal – increasing teenagers’ awareness of e-cigarettes’ role in dental disease. The Health Belief Model guides the creation of the disease prevention program by predicting that successful efforts to communicate information on the benefits of quitting vaping for oral health are followed by the adoption of positive health behaviors. This model explains the process of encouraging healthier habits (for instance, quitting any substitutes to smoking), which is why it was chosen. The eight-phase PRECEDE-PROCEED Model was selected since it covers program development in extensive detail, proceeding from social assessment to program implementation and evaluation. Given that factors that contribute to the target group’s intentions to use e-cigarettes are not perfectly clear, the model that includes the social assessment element can increase the likelihood of success.


To sum up, the proposed project is expected to increase the recognition of the vaping epidemic and its future negative impacts on the nation’s dental health. The initiative is to support the target population’s motivation to engage in oral health self-care behaviors, such as staying away from e-cigarettes that are marketed as a “healthy” alternative to traditional tobacco products. Some obstacles that can be encountered include the lack of support from charitable organizations. Also, those in the target group may be unwilling to participate in school-based educational events due to the fear of teachers’ and parents’ assumptions about their e-cigarette use status. From my perspective, the proposal would get a positive reception in my community, with enormous support from parents. It is because the popularization of unhealthy habits among adolescents remains a critical concern in the community, and vaping is not considered an appropriate practice for underage citizens, especially in educational institutions.


Gentzke, A. S., Creamer, M., Cullen, K. A., Ambrose, B. K., Willis, G., Jamal, A., & King, B. A. (2019). Vital signs: Tobacco product use among middle and high school students – the United States, 2011–2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 68(6), 157-164. Web.

Irusa, K. F., Vence, B., & Donovan, T. (2020). Potential oral health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping: A review and case reports. Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, 32(3), 260-264. Web.

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National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). Health, United States 2019. Author. Web.

Rouabhia, M. (2020). Impact of electronic cigarettes on oral health: A review. Journal of Canadian Dental Association, 86, 1-8. Web.

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