Vaping and E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes and vaping have become major health concerns in our district. Through this page, we hope to provide education and support to staff and community on the hazards of these practices. In 2017, close to 28% of high school seniors reported using e-cigs in the past year, up over 20% since they first were introduced into our communities (NIDA, 2018). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public about a teen vaping epidemic in America. They are designed to look like flash drives and can be easily hidden from teachers in schools.
However, e-cigarettes are not harmless. In fact, you are inhaling several poisonous chemicals when you vape. E-cigarettes contain nicoltine, ultrafine particles, heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (Surgeon General) Some risks extend to defective batteries, that have been known to cause fires and explosions, resulting in serious injuries. E-cig flavorings are among the most popular with teens, but have health risks. Among high school cigarette smokers, 7 out of 10 also use e-cigarettes (Surgeon General). Key risks have to do with impact on the brain. The part of the brain responsible for decision making and impulse control is not fully developed during adolescence. Young people are more likely to take risks with their health and safety, which can have long-term, lasting impacts on their development, especially as it relates to nicotine use and its impact on brain development. Nicotine actually changes the way synapses are formed, which can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning. (Surgeon General).
Teens are especially susceptible to nicotine addiction and the harmful effects of nicotine on the developing brain. The most recently released 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey shows that for the first time in 17 years, youth tobacco use is on the rise. Statewide rates are 31% higher than the national rate. Over 26 percent of high school students reported using tobacco products in the past 30 days, a 50% increase from 2014. Statewide, 21.8% of 11th graders use tobacco, compared with 30.5% in Sherburne County. The use of e-cigarettes in Sherburne County is also higher than Minnesota; with 26.3% of 11th graders indicating they've used e-cigs, compared to 17% statewide.
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