Vaping Facts from the CDC:
E-cigarettes/vaping devices function as a nicotine delivery system. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical derived from tobacco leaves and other chemicals. Once addicted, physicians are reporting miserable success rates in helping kids to stop, ensuring the manufacturers of these products a lifetime of users. Nicotine harms brain development, which continues until about age 25. Vaping one pod delivers the same nicotine as one pack/20 cigarettes. E-cigarette aerosol contains harmful ingredients such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cancer causing chemicals, heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead, and flavoring such as diacetyl - a chemical linked to lung disease.
There has been a surge in use of e-cigarette products among youth and a vast array of e-cigarette products from which to choose. E-cigarette products are easy to get, relatively inexpensive, easy to disguise and hide as something else, and able to be used without detection. Students are perceiving vape products as harmless.
The JUUL vaping devices are by far the most popular e-cigarettes. JUULs are small and resemble a flash drive. It recharges by USB and is refilled with pods that can be purchased in stores or online. After the initial investment of buying the pen, the pods are available for purchase in a four-pack. The flavors of the pods are directly marketed to youth, with Mango being the teen favorite. While some e-cig products produce a great deal of vape “smoke” and their odor is pronounced, JUUL produces much less vapor and the scent dissipates quickly, making it much easier to use at home or school without being detected.
The Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education passed a resolution in support of Tobacco 21 and many cities in our county have supported raising the legal age to buy nicotine products from 18 to 21. Shawnee Mission School District’s Wellness Committee members, consisting of staff and students alike, adopted vaping prevention as a priority for the upcoming school year. Additionally, all Shawnee Mission School District Nurses have attended a presentation, “Getting the Facts on Vaping,” hosted by the Regional Prevention Center. Training will be ongoing and resources on this topic will be added to this page as they become available.
If you have questions about this topic, please contact your school nurse.