Teen Vaping on the Rise
Posted on 10/17/2019
VapingElectronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes, vapes, or vape pens) have become a new trend among children and teens and Seaman School District is working towards prevention. In the most recent Kansas Communities that Care (KCTC) survey, district leaders found e-cigarette use on the rise and a decline in traditional cigarettes.

Vaping Data

Recently, the district has partnered with local agencies, teachers, staff, parents, and students to form a vaping prevention committee. Local agencies include Shawnee Regional Prevention and Recovery Services (PARS), Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), Shawnee County, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), and medical personnel.

“We formed this committee as a way to be less reactive to this growing issue and more proactive,” said Danira Fernandez-Flores, Director of Secondary Education. “As a school district, we have the will but we’re lacking the resources, which is why we’re calling on other agencies for help. We are all here for the health of our youth.”

USD 345 district policy was recently updated to include e-cigarettes on the district’s prohibited list and the committee spent time reviewing these policies. Seaman High School students from the committee suggested a higher consequence for distributors since many students are underage and relying on older students for materials. The committee also discussed updating tobacco-free signage to include “no vaping,” and more tobacco education for students at the elementary level. “Unfortunately, elementary schools have seen vape pens brought in by students,” said Rebecca Kramer, Director of Elementary Education. “Students are curious, they see all of these enticing flavors and want to try them out. We need to be able to help our staff and parents talk about potential dangers with their kids and what to look for.”

Seaman Middle School and Seaman High School is considering the addition of nicotine to the random drug testing along with vaping detectors in bathrooms. “We have a professional duty to make sure this is something we address,” said Fernandez-Flores. A representative from PARS talked to the committee about how nicotine can be considered a gateway drug to other chemicals when kids are trying to manage themselves when it comes to anxiety and stress. The elementary level is looking into curriculum resources around vaping.

The committee will host a community conversation on November 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Seaman High School. All parents and students are invited to attend this important discussion centered around the potential dangers of vaping, misconceptions about e-cigarettes, and how we can all help our kids and community prevent vaping.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, “CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multi-state outbreak of lung disease associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use.”

CDC recommends that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products. If you have recently used an e-cigarette or vaping product and you have symptoms like those reported in this outbreak see a healthcare provider.

Key Facts
Using an e-cigarette product is commonly called vaping.

E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.

The liquid can contain: nicotine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoid (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives.