MGA Nursing Faculty Member Creates Anti-Vaping Curriculum

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2022 12:00 AM
Categories: Faculty/Staff | Pressroom | School of Health and Natural Sciences

Macon, GA


Middle Georgia State University (MGA) nursing faculty member Elisha A. Tribble created an anti-vaping curriculum now used by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association’s C.H.A.M.P.S. (Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety) program to help teens make healthy decisions.

In this Q&A, Tribble discusses why so many young people are attracted to vaping, the health risks of e-cigarettes, and the steps parents can take.

What exactly is vaping?

Vaping simulates smoking.  The user inhales a vape, thus it's called vaping. Instead of inhaling tobacco, the user inhales a liquid from a cartridge that can be flavored, have THC, dangerous chemicals, and more nicotine than regular cigarettes.

What makes vaping so dangerous?

Vaping is dangerous because it actually contains more nicotine than cigarettes.  The vaping liquid is also dangerous as it contains many chemicals (some found in antifreeze and weed killers).  This vaping liquid coats the lungs and can cause irreversible lung damage, just like cigarette smoking.  It can cause bronchitis, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, as well as a dangerous lung injury called EVALI (e-cigarette-associated lung injury).  EVALI can lead to lung failure causing death.

Nationally, what percentage of high school students vape?

According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 34 percent (5.22 million) of high schoolers and 11.3 percent (1.34 million) of middle schoolers have ever reported vaping.

Why are so many teens attracted to vaping?

Teens are attracted to vaping because of the flavors, advertisements/social media influencers, peer pressure, the fact there is no tobacco smell associated with it so they are less likely to get caught, and stress relief. And, yes, many teens falsely believe that vaping is less dangerous than smoking cigarettes. The addiction is real and they are more likely to also engage in other dangerous and addictive behaviors, such as abusing drugs and alcohol, if they vape.

Tell us about the anti-vaping program you created.

The anti-vaping program I created was in collaboration with Georgia Sheriffs' Association and its C.H.A.M.P.S. Program (Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety).  They did not have a vaping curriculum and had been seeing more youth engaging in this dangerous behavior. Thus, I worked with the program to create an anti-vaping initiative. The program "went live" last fall and has been presented in over 50 counties across Georgia.

What other resources would you recommend to parents who are concerned about this issue?

There are multiple, reputable sites on the Internet with information. The CDC has some really great information on vaping and tobacco use.  Parents can also contact their child's physician or school.  There are programs or speakers willing to come into a school or youth program to discuss these dangers.  I also recommend parents keep an open line of communication with their kids. Vapes are easily concealed or hidden. Some even look like USB drives. It's important to be vigilant, look through bags, and question your kids. Oftentimes, kids do not realize how harmful something is and may just be engaging in the behavior because others are doing it and want to look cool. 


Elisha A. Tribble, assistant professor of nursing at MGA, has been a nurse for 23 years and a nurse practitioner for 17 years with a specialty in emergency medicine. She will graduate in August with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Mercer University. The anti-vaping curriculum Tribble developed was the basis of her DNP project. Tribble and her husband have five children.