January 11, 2023
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The use of vaping paraphernalia and e-cigarettes has increased both nationwide and locally, becoming the most commonly used tobacco products among our youth. This is a troubling trend.
While these odorless tools are often marketed as safer and healthier alternatives to traditional cigarettes, to inhale nicotine, THC, flavored substances, and various synthetic chemicals, they are neither safe nor healthy.
Our school district is very concerned about the increase in vaping among students. Here is some important information for our Fort Plain families.
Teen vaping — 6 things every parent/guardian needs to know
- Slang terms: E-cigs, e-hookahs, hookah pens, vapes, vape pens, JUULs, “jeweling,” mods (customizable, more powerful vaporizers).
- Vaping devices can be used to inhale flavored substances – such as mint, crème brulée or mango. Many people are under the impression that it’s safe to inhale nicotine-free water vapors, but recent studies show otherwise. Flavoring agents can cause “popcorn lung” – a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs that results in the thickening and narrowing of airways. Popcorn lung mirrors the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
- Vaping devices can be used to inhale substances that contain nicotine, THC (the chemical compound in marijuana that produces the high), opiates and synthetic substances.
- Inhaling from a vaporizer enhances a drug user’s high and can amplify a drug’s side effects. That’s because it delivers a far more potent form of whatever drug is being used. The chemicals in synthetic drugs are dangerous and potentially fatal in cases of overdose.
- Vaping synthetic drugs is more discreet than other forms of drug abuse. Because e-cigarettes can resemble everyday ballpoint pens or USB memory sticks, they are easy to hide. E-cigarettes and vaping pens are odorless.
- E-cigarettes and pen vaporizers are easy to acquire for underage users.
Signs of vaping abuse and what parents/guardians can do
Parents/guardians can be on the alert for signs of vaping abuse. They can:
- Watch for physiological symptoms and side effects that may indicate their teen has a vaping abuse problem. These can include dry mouth syndrome, nosebleeds and strange, erratic behavior.
- Familiarize themselves with what e-cigarettes look like and how the devices work, so that they are able to identify them in the hands of their teens.
Student use of vaping paraphernalia on campus, school grounds and school buses is a violation of the Code of Conduct. Students who violate the Code of Conduct are subject to consequences outlined in the code.
Please review the fact sheet graphic below to learn more about vaping and its associated dangers. We encourage you to talk to your child about vaping, and remind them that state and federal laws prohibit them from purchasing tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
Thank you for your support and cooperation. If you have any questions related to our prevention and intervention efforts, please contact Jr./Sr. High School Principal Dr. Deborah Larrabee at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Elementary Principal Mrs. Jodi Coppolo at email@example.com.