Vaping is increasing at an alarming rate as are the related health concerns. The CDC has received almost 500 reports on severe pulmonary problems being caused by e-cigarette products. A sixth death suspected to be caused by vaping has now been reported in Kansas. The Surgeon General has declared e-cigarette use among young people as an epidemic, and advises immediate action.
As September unfolds, and our children settle into the school routine, it may be a good time to ask your school what they are doing to address e-cigarette use. School policy and education can have an important impact for protecting our young people and preventing the spread of e-cigarette use.
Two good resources for schools have become available. The Public Health Law Center has developed suggested school policies to address tobacco use and vape products in school. The policy model includes suggestions for helping students who are found to be using tobacco products on school grounds and progressive responses for students who violate the policies.
The American Lung Association has developed an educational program for schools INDEPTH (Interventions for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health.). The program provides step by step guides to implement an educational and counseling program in schools. It requires prior completion of an online training for adults prior to their delivering the curriculum.
If you have children in school, know what your school is doing to address vaping and e-cigarette use.