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Rising Concerns About Vaping – A PAWS Together Communication
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KSD is seeing a concerning trend of e-cigarette and vaping device use by students in our district. KJHS and KHS have reported an increase in vaping incidents that is five times greater than this time last year.At the national level, the FDA believes this dangerous trend has reached epidemic proportions.
With statistics this alarming, we want to share additional information on the health risks vaping has on a young body. We will also shed light on how these devices are specifically designed to look like everyday household items so they can easily be “hidden in plain sight.”
Vaping devices are the same thing as e-cigarettes and there are many kinds on the market. One of the most popularly used vaping devices is called a JUUL. A JUUL can be easily disguised because they are purposely made to look like an ink pen, flash drive or hand held electronic devices, like ipods. After purchasing the device, users buy refillable liquid or “pods.” The JUUL is a major concern among youth because just one pod delivers the brain and body the same amount of nicotine that is found in an entire pack of cigarettes.¹
A common misconception about vaping is the idea that it is just flavored water vapor. In fact, all JUUL pods contain an extremely high level of nicotine, and as the trend continues, authorities are concerned about the potentiality of vaping devices being laced with marijuana and other types of drugs. Youth and young adults are attracted to the candy and fruity flavors that are offered but do not realize what the harmful ingredients are inside them.
Our youth and young adults are also uniquely at risk for long-term, long-lasting effects of exposing their still-developing brains to nicotine and the many other harmful chemicals in the vaping liquids. These risks include nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control. Nicotine also changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm the parts of the brain that control attention and learning.¹
Administrators at the high school have stated they have begun to see students having such an addiction to vaping that they find reasons to leave school just to be able to vape.
What can we do to help our students stop this trend? Talk to your children about how harmful and addictive these products are to their brain and body as a whole. It is highly likely they do not realize that these vaping liquids contain chemicals and drugs such as nicotine. To help you in this effort, at the end of this communication you will find several sites that can be used as a resource.
The school district wants to help as well. Currently our district nurse is working to keep all KSD staff informed of the latest information on vaping and is available to speak with families. The district is also currently working on an educational video to share with students receiving disciplinary action after being caught with vaping products.
If you are concerned your student may be vaping and would like additional support, please contact the district nurse or your school counselor.
Let’s work together to keep the youth of this community safe and healthy!