Posted Date: 10/14/2019
While studies show that tobacco use among youth has been on the decline, it also shows that the use of E-Cigs, vapes, etc. are on the rise among middle and high school students. According to Sanford Medicine, the population of e-cigs & vapes among youth has become a major concern for health professionals, educators and parents based on the common misconception that the products are harmless and the fact that the long-term consequences of their use is still unknown. “Vaping is a real serious concern,” said Eric Mullens, Principal at Hempstead High School. “Vaping is highly addictive and students should be mindful that second hand vaping, like second hand smoke, can be harmful as well.”
In an effort to inform students at Hempstead High School of the dangers associated with vaping, Principal Mullens brought in Annie Trostel, the Regional Tobacco Coordinator with the Texas Department of State Health Services to visit with his students. “Mrs. Trostel is here today to educate you about vaping in order to help you make the best decisions about your health,” said Mullens as he introduced his guest.
Ms. Tristel began her presentation on “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) - Know the Risks” with the facts that 12 deaths have been linked to vaping and over 1,000 people have been hospitalized with cases of lung illnesses. “There are 50-100 cases in Texas alone,” she said.
Students watched a YouTube video of a ABC-Nightline news story by Adrienne Bankert that aired in September featuring Simah Herman, an active teenager who found herself fighting for her life from vaping a cartridge a day (which is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day). “Vaping makes it seem like you are doing nothing wrong,” said Simah who started vaping at age 15 and ended up in the ER at age 18 fighting for her life. Simah went public with her story to try to help inform others of the effects of vaping in hopes to help keep others alive with her “No-Vaping” campaign.
Following the video, Ms. Tristel presented facts about the dangers of vaping to the student assembly. In her presentation she explained that vaping is not water based but more of an aerosol like hairspray and that it has more harmful effects on our bodies. “Our lungs need oxygen not oil,” she said. “Nicotine is as addictive as cocaine and it affects the parts of the brain in adolescents that control attention, learning, moods and impulse control.”
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) National Youth Tobacco Survey, there has been a 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students between 2017 and 2018. Similarly, 4.9% of middle school students are using some form of ENDS.
Ms. Tristel ended her presentation saying, “There is so much we don’t know about the short term or long term effects of vaping.” She encouraged the students to refrain from using any e-cigarette or vaping product
Parents and students who have questions or concerns should visit the links below for information on the dangers of vaping and the current e-cigarette crisis in adolescents.
Links below provided by Texas Department of State Healrh Services: