What is vaping and how can the district address the vaping popularity in young adults?
That was the passionate discussion with the Montezuma-Cortez Board of Education at the Nov. 19 board meeting.
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling aerosol, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.
The devices can resemble fountain pens, and a very popular device resembles a computer USB flash drive. Its subtle design makes it easy to hide, which helps explain why it has become so popular among middle and high school students.
JUUL is a popular device that comes in many different flavors and can be charged in a USB port. Flavors can consist of crème brulee, mango, cotton candy and fruit medley, to list a few.
According to an article posted by the Child Mind Institute:
Some known risks of vaping are:
E-cigarettes contain high levels of nicotine. Nicotine content of one JUUL pod can be equivalent to one pack of cigarettes.Because of these high nicotine levels, vaping is extremely addictive – and teens are already more susceptible to addiction than adults because their brains are still developing, which makes them more likely to habituate to using drugs and alcohol.Addiction can impact the ability to focus.One study found that vaping does, in fact, cause lung irritation akin to that seen in smokers and people with lung disease and causes damage to vital immune system cells.There have been several deaths and hundreds of cases of lung illness attributed to vaping. There have been documented studies that vaping increased heart rate and blood pressure.Since they leave little odor, e-cigarettes are particularly easy to hide and even use discreetly in public places, including school.
Kids are also vaping marijuana at increasing rates, which brings its own health risks.
The district school safety team will be addressing vaping in schools, but parents need to be aware of the impact vaping is having on their students.
Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at email@example.com.