Aloha High School

November

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Teenage Vaping

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Thumb Drive or Juul?

Dear Warrior Parents and Guardians,


I wanted to take a moment to address some concerns that have been developing among the staff, myself, and an increasing number of local and national education and health leaders concerning teenagers and vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor produced by an electronic vaporizer or e-cigarette. The vapor may contain nicotine, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol - the active ingredient in marijuana, giving it its narcotic and psychoactive effects) and/or other substances. The vaporized liquids come in many different flavors that often have no odor, or they might smell fruity. For example, many of the flavors of these liquid concentrates, or ‘vape juices’, are sweet and have names such as, cinnamon roll, marshmallow, bubblegum, snozzberry, lemonade and cookies.


Here at Aloha High School, and across the nation’s high schools and middle schools, an increasing number of students are found in possession of and/or are using vaping products. I want to make sure that parents and guardians are aware of what some of these products are, and the dangers that they pose to our students and your children.


Vaporizers/e-cigarettes come in all different shapes and sizes. Some common styles may look like a thick pen, or a stylus for an iPad, or a flash drive, or a small flask with a round chimney coming off the top. The devices are small and can easily be hidden on a person or blend in with normal backpack items. Like cigarettes, stores cannot sell vaping items to people under the age of 21. However, students report that they purchase the devices online or buy them from older siblings, or older friends.


One product gaining popularity is a product known as Juul. Students that use a Juul refer to it as Juuling. Juuls are small pods that contain high levels of nicotine: one pod contains the nicotine equivalent found in one entire pack of cigarettes. They come in multiple colors representing different flavors of vapor, and they look almost exactly like USB drives, or memory sticks you would place in a computer. You can read about them in an article linked below, as well as another article describing the harm of nicotine to youth - also linked.


There are many different dangers facing our students, and while we cannot always stop teenagers from engaging in some of these behaviors, we can educate them on the damage caused by these products. Science often takes time to catch up to the impact of new products that hit the market and the research on vaping is still developing. This lack of evidence may be contributing to some of the behavior observed in our students.


The consequences for illicit, illegal substances including electronic smoking devices are clearly laid out in our district and school policies. Aloha High School will continue to take steps to educate our students to the dangers of vaping/Juuling. We ask that after you view the links below, you take time to talk with your children about the dangers of vaping/Juuling to help reinforce the following message: Vaping/Juuling is dangerous, illegal for minors, and a violation of school and district policy. Please help us to support your students to make smart and healthy choices in regards to this high-risk behavior.


Juul Fact Sheet: Information about Juul and the popularity among youth.

(https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/factsheets/0394.pdf)

Know the Risks – E-Cigarettes and Young People: Information from the Surgeon General regarding the harms of nicotine to a young body and brain.

(https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/knowtherisks.html)


Matt Casteel

Principal

Aloha High School

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Please Help - College Bound Warrior Shirts

The College and Career Center is trying to raise money for our College Bound Warrior t-shirts. The last two years we have offered these as incentive for seniors to keep all doors open by applying to one college and filling a FAFSA/ORSAA. We'd love to keep this tradition going. We need YOUR help to fund them so that they are free of charge to students. Our goal is $1600! Click on the link to donate.

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