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Vaping: The Risks to Our Students

November 16, 2018

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Patrons of Johnson County Central School District,

Johnson County Central Schools, similar to many other schools in the area, would like to inform our parents, guardians, and patrons about the dangers/risks of Vaping/JUULing.  The purpose of the article is to inform you of the issue, give you resources if you feel your student is involved in this kind of behavior, as well as alert you to repercussions if your child engages in vaping on school property.  We take this issue very seriously due to the negative health effects vaping can have on our students and we wanted to make parents and guardians aware of the risks around vaping and what this devices might look like.

Vaping, also known as JUULing, has become popular with youth in middle school and high school.  Vaping means using an electronic cigarette or other vaping device.  It is referred to as vaping because tiny puffs or clouds of vapor are produced when using the devices.  E-cigarettes are battery powered and deliver nicotine through a liquid, called e-juice.  The liquid turns into a vapor when it is used in these devices.  The liquid comes in many different flavors and that is appealing to young people.  Youth often believe that the liquid used in vaping only contains water vapor and flavoring, but this is not the truth.  It contains nicotine, volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles, heavy metals (nickel, tin, and lead), flavorings such as Diacetyl which is a chemical linked to serious lung disease, and cancer-causing chemicals.  Nicotine is highly addictive, especially to the developing teen brain.  What begins as experimentation can easily lead to a lifetime of nicotine addiction.  It does not take that long for young people to become addicted to nicotine because:

  1. E-Cigarettes provide nicotine in doses as large as, or larger than, regular cigarettes do.
  2. Children and youth become addicted to nicotine much faster than adults.
  3. Nicotine has more harmful effects on the developing adolescent brain, making it worse for kids than adults.
  4. Nicotine is thought to be a social and biological “gateway” for the use of other substances, like initiating combustible cigarette use, alcohol, and other drugs.

Did you know that underage use of E-cigarettes of all kinds is illegal?  All states prohibit the sale, purchase, or use of E-cigarettes or liquid nicotine containers by all minors (under the age of 18).  At JCC, we prohibit that use of any tobacco product on our school grounds.  Our students are subject to disciplinary actions if they are found to possess or are using tobacco products on JCC School grounds.

Many types of E-cigarettes are available, but one popular brand is JUUL.  JUUL is becoming more prevalent with youth in middle school and high school because of its small size.  It looks like a USB device.  When using the JUUL, it is often referred to as JUULing. 

These are just several of the different types of E-cigarettes.  The first one shown is the JUUL.  As you can see, it looks just like a USB device.

It is important to talk with your kids about the dangers of vaping.  It is important to learn about the different shapes and types of E-Cigarettes and the risks of all forms of E-Cigarette/Tobacco use for young people.  It is important to talk to your children about the risks to young people that occur with all types of tobacco usage. 

Here are two resources that you can use to talk to your kids about vaping.  It is the Surgeon General’s 2016 report on E-Cigarette use, and their tip sheet for parents.  If you feel your child has already developed an addiction to nicotine, we suggest you reach out to your healthcare provider.

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data-statistics/sgr/e-cigarettes/index.htm

https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/SGR_ECig_ParentTipsheet_508.pdf

We hope you find this article informative and understand our concerns about this potentially harmful issues.  Our goal is to partner with parents to help support our students in making positive decisions for themselves and the high school community.  

Thank you for your continued support of our school system.

VIDEO: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/educators-worry-students-dont-know-vaping-health-risks

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