The city of Santa Clarita is committed to ensuring residents enjoy a high quality of life and have the resources and opportunities necessary to do so. This is why, over the last few years, the city has offered public information meetings. The city of Santa Clarita is presenting a Parent Resource Symposium with the goal of educating the community about the trends, dangers and statistics about drug use and abuse.

The Parent Resource Symposium has tackled many topics since its inception, including the nationwide heroin epidemic, the effects of various substances on a developing brain and statistics surrounding teenage marijuana use. The next Parent Resource Symposium, titled “Head in the Clouds: The Truth About Vaping,” will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Santa Clarita City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd., from 6 to 8 p.m.

Did you know that studies show seven in 10 teens are exposed to tobacco ads on social media? Or that those who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start using “traditional” cigarettes? Or that just one Juul pod contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes? While companies position vaping as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco, the truth shows otherwise.

The most important step we can take as a community to ensure our youth make the right choices when it comes to vaping is to have an open and honest discussion about emerging trends and potential risks. Having an open dialogue with your children will allow you to be more aware of the pressures they are facing – and will let them know they can turn to you for support.

This Parent Resource Symposium is an event that every parent and concerned resident in Santa Clarita should attend. The objective of the evening is to have a discussion with one another, as well as experts, so we may better understand what our children are dealing with in terms of social pressures and temptations on a daily basis.

When you arrive at the Parent Resource Symposium, you will have the opportunity to first meet with a variety of service providers in Santa Clarita at the resource fair. In addition to meeting with medical professionals and law enforcement officials, you can also get more information about the city’s Drug Free Youth in the Santa Clarita Valley program (DFY in SCV), which is a voluntary, drug-free club on junior high and high school campuses.

Following the resource fair, the group will head into the City Council Chambers to hear a presentation from our own Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Captain Robert Lewis, as well as Bob Sharits from The Way Out Recovery. Lewis and Sharits will share their experiences and also be available to answer questions attendees have about vaping.

The city understands that it may be difficult to attend this event, especially after a long day of work and a full roster of after-school programs, homework time and family dinner. That is why I am happy to announce that the Parent Resource Symposium will also be broadcast live on SCVTV (Spectrum channel 20 and AT&T U-verse channel 99), as well as online at SCVTV.com.

Additionally, DFY in SCV staff are developing a number of parent engagement opportunities on local school campuses to connect with parents and keep the conversation going. These workshops will be held in partnership with the Sheriff’s Department, College of the Canyons and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

I encourage you and your teens to attend “Head in the Clouds: The Truth about Vaping” and take advantage of all the opportunities available in Santa Clarita. You can learn more about this event by visiting dfyinscv.com/PRS.

Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at csmyth@santa-clarita.com.