District launches anti-“vaping” effort

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Marissa Briggs – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The School District of Manatee County is starting off the new year with a new effort to address the practice of “vaping.”

The use of e-cigarettes, a common activity for teens, has increased dramatically among high school students. The district is providing schools with resources and information for parents and students, so that they may become more knowledgeable of the effects of vaping.

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of e-cigarette users has increased among high schoolers by 78%. The most modern design of e-cigarettes, JUULs, are becoming increasingly common among teens. Vaping is the action of inhaling vapor produced by an e-cigarette.

While the long-term effects of vaping are yet to be determined, the short-term effects are evidently harmful. Throat irritation, increased respiratory issues, and lithium battery explosions, causing burns, are some of the most common side effects.

LRHS discipline dean Susan O’Brien is working with the school district in hopes of educating more people. The district offers a variety of resources available on their website that relate to the dangers of vaping. Parents and students now have access to what to look for, its effects of the body and mind, and steps to help one quit.

O’Brien believes that these new policies will aid schools, students, and parents alike. “I think having the information there for deans to give to parents and kids may help them understand the dangers of it.  When [people] vape, it is much more dangerous [than smoking].”

In addition to the information provided on the website, faculty members have been attending district meetings to discuss the dangers of vaping, and how to identify an e-cigarette.

The model of e-cigarettes has changed dramatically overtime. These district meetings help staff to be able to identify the new models, JUULs, as well as how to handle situations and give advice and help.

The district website provides many resources for those seeking more information on the use of e-cigarettes.

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