Time to escape the vape

Image result for vapes
Newer vape designs are harder to distinguish, though school staff are taught to recognize them.

Last year, we posted some staggering facts about the vaping issue in this article, but it remains to be an issue among teens nationwide.

Too many underage kids have easy access to vaping devices because of older friends able to buy for them. Over the last year, teen vaping has increased drastically. The increased discipline measures in place across Cherokee County Schools reflect this. Vaping is a chronic issue everywhere. Web MD reports that more than one in four high school students in the U.S use e-cigarettes; in the past year underage vaping hit a new record.

According to Healthline, in 2016, vaping soared past cigarette usage. Now nearly three times as many high school students puff on electronic cigarettes. Within two short years, this trend has gone overboard. Middle school students have an even stronger preference for vaping over smoking. Schools are cracking down.

Surveys and data reports consistently report the rise of e-cigs over smoking. The once celebrated report that the rate of smoking is decreasing is being overshadowed with these new unfortunate statistics.

Image result for vaping surveys

Is it really harmless?

Many defensively argue that vaping is harmless, but Centeron Addiction shows that this is a large misconception of naivety. One major issue is that vaping is still so relatively new that not enough long-term research is available, but the side effects that have surfaced are alarming. Lung disease reports are increasing, as are deaths. The FDA, CDC, and health officials are investigating these recent findings. Nicotine is an addictive substance that increases heart rates, and the likelihood of having a heart attack is even higher. Although there are no studies that show vaping causes cancer with the same carcinogens in cigarette smoke yet, there is research that shows how vaping can increase chances to get cancer.

Image result for vaping causes cancer

Teenagers need to be doing more research on this topic. There are too many disadvantages to make this an option. Take the athlete, for example. Coaches expect you to stay in shape and be in good shape for the season, and vaping causes short breath, struggles to run longer distance, and decreases workout performance.

Image result for athletes vaping

In effort to encourage students in the right direction, CCSD has made several strides, such as sending medical experts to speak to the students, enforcing stricter policies against vaping, providing anonymous tip lines, and even providing a PSA contest incentive.

The Cherokee County Board sent out a email about anti-vaping winning videos posted below.

NEW INFORMATION

The Cherokee County School Board on Thursday heard an update on CCSD’s Social and Emotional Learning initiative, including projects underway to increase counseling services and create a “parent university” program for providing parents more information to help their children’s safety and well-being.  Learn more here.

The School Board announced the winners of CCSD’s first-ever Anti-Vaping Student PSA Video Contest: overall winner Chloe Feibus, a seventh-grader at Creekland MS; and runners-up Alicia Mazzurra, a senior at River Ridge HS, and Casten Augustine, an eighth-grader at E.T. Booth MS.  You can check out their videos on the CCSD YouTube channel; we hope you’ll watch them and share them with your students and school community.

Here are measures taken by other schools to help the issue:

  • Bathroom vaping sensors that instantly alert admin (Arrowhead Union H.S., Wis., Source: EdWeek)
  • Peer-to-Peer Education: Trained high school student representatives meet in mentor groups to middle schools (same source).
  • Community banned the sale of flavored nicotine and tobacco products to those under 18-21. (Boulder Valley Colo., Source EdWeek).
  • Continuous prevention education programs with expert health officials and counslelors. (Source: Edutopia and EdWeek)
  • Strict suspension policies (similar to ours) (EdWeek)

Say no to vaping, and save your lungs. No one has ever said that they prefer to fill their only pair of lungs with acetaldehyde (toxic; used in disinfectants), diacetyl (a flavor agent linked to lung disease), acrolein (a toxic weed killer), vegetable glycerin (increased MUC5AC protein levels in lungs, which increases chance of lung disease), and nicotine (stunts brain development).

What are you opinions? Feel free to respond to these discussion points

  • What is your overall opinion on vaping?
  • Should the age to buy a vape be raised?
  • What do you think entices under-aged people to vape?
  • Do you think young people vape to fit in / be accepted?
  • How much do you think people spend on vape products in a month?

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