Informational Update: Vaping/E-Cigarette Use Among Teens
The Springfield School District feels it is very important for us to share some information with you regarding a disturbing trend on the rise among adolescents/teens. Whether or not you are familiar with the term “VAPING” or if you have seen advertisements for E-Cigarettes, we wanted to take a moment to outline some relevant information that could have an impact on both your child’s education and health.
Included in this information is a letter we sent last year to families of parents in the middle and high school. However, with the increased presence of these devices in our everyday lives, we wanted to provide some additional information and outline the steps we are taking to educate our students and combat the illegal use of these devices within our community and school.
To begin, a few facts:
- According to the CDC, “e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product by American youth.”
- Vaping and E-Cigarettes are essentially a delivery system for nicotine. Although flavored and marketed in ways that appeal to children, make no mistake, their purpose is to provide individuals with the same addictive nicotine that is present in cigarettes. This is why they are illegal to purchase under the age of 18 in our state.
- A typical “pod” of vape juice or oil has roughly the same level of nicotine as a full pack of cigarettes. Fewer than 2% of all vape juices are nicotine free.
- 1 Mango flavored Juul pod (typical name-brand vape oil provider) costs about $4 when purchased in a four pack. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in PA is about $9. This means that it costs significantly less to buy the same amount of nicotine through a vaping/E-Cigarette.
- The Surgeon General has identified numerous adverse health effects associated with vaping. These negative side effects are especially serious in developing brains – like those of teens and adolescents.
- Most disturbing, with this new type of delivery system, we are seeing a rise in THC/Cannabis-related/Hemp oil use among teens. These “oils” can be bought over the internet through Canadian retailers and shipped to the US. Individuals with documented medical need can also purchase them for personal use in some states. While this may appear to make this marijuana alternative legal, it is not. Per law enforcement, possession of these types of “oils,” without proper medical documentation is considered illegal and may result in serious legal charges by law enforcement.
- According to our Board Policies, possession of vape paraphernalia and non-cannabis oils is considered the same as having any tobacco-related product on campus and will result in similar disciplinary consequences.
- Additionally, possession of THC/Cannabis-related/Hemp oils on campus is handled and regarded in precisely the same manner as being in possession of a controlled/illegal substance and will result in disciplinary consequences, up to, and potentially including expulsion.
The Springfield School District is not immune to the significant rise in teen vaping. We are reaching out to provide some information and to let you know we are taking steps to help educate both our students and the community about the disturbing increase in usage both nationwide and most importantly, locally. In the New Year, we will be partnering with a community health provider to run a series of informational events in our schools during the day and evenings to help provide as much information as possible regarding this topic.
We will continue to work to partner with our families to bring awareness to this growing problem and to protect the health of our students.
If you have questions or need assistance with one of your children that may be addicted to these substances, please contact your child’s school nurse in the health office of the school.