The Palmyra-Macedon Central School District strives to ensure the health and safety of its students, and by engaging in the school community, is striving to work with parents and persons in parental relations to students on the dangers of e-cigs and vaping.
By now, you may know e-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular among students, which is a cause for concern.
The district remains a tobacco and drug-free campus. Any student caught using these substances on school grounds are subject to disciplinary action under the school’s Code of Conduct. (Under page 17 on the 2021-2022 handbook)
WHAT ARE E-CIGS?
E-Cigs are often called vapes, Juuls, chiefs, or pens.
The “cigs” are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid solution that more often than contains nicotine (The CDC reported 99% of e-cigs sold contain nicotine) The heat turns the liquid into a vapor that can be inhaled.
If the base liquid is not palatable, many flavors, such as mint, apple and others, can make vaping attractive, especially to adolescents. (Auburn Pub)
The United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) found 2.06 million middle and high school students admitted to vaping, which far outpaced traditional cigarettes (410,000). The data collected was part of the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).
Going further, the USDA found about 2 in 5 students who have vaped still do so “frequently,” with 1 in 4 vaping “daily.” The department called the results “disturbingly high.”
The most common reason for first trying e-cigarettes is because “a friend used them.” Many students also cited anxiety, stress and depression as reasons for their continued use.
While vaping has continued to be billed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, there is still evidence to the contrary.
Nicotine, no matter how it’s delivered, is addictive.
Studies have shown it may be harder for a teen to quit a nicotine addiction than a heroin addiction.
The flavors and stabilizers in e-cigarettes can cause unknown inflammation to delicate lung tissue.
Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
Defective batteries can and have posed an explosion or fire risk.
Poisoning has been reported in adults and kids who have breathed, or absorbed e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes.
Those are just a few of the risks, as scientists are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.
STEPS TO TAKE
If you believe your child is vaping, there are some potential “signs” you should be on the lookout for:
Scents of fruity odors on skin, breath and clothes
Presence of strange chargers or batteries
Regardless, be sure to talk to your child about the dangers of vaping. It is important to not outright accuse or suspect your child of using the products.
The CDC provides a helpful “Talk with Your Teen” kit, which can be found here.
Additionally, you may visit smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.