Resource Connection

Fall 2019- Dangers of Vaping for Adolescents

Knowledge is Power

The MCSS Resource Connection Newsletter is to present useful information to parents and guardians about all types of issues facing our students and families today. From hunger to health care to college and career, Resource Connection is the place for information!

This issue of Resource Connection is about a health problem that is directly and significantly impacting our students. Factual and current information is vital for parents and guardians to help their children make good choices regarding education and health.

Please take a few minutes to educate yourself about this serious issue. Some reference links are provided, but we encourage you to do your own research about vaping and its dangers.

What is Vaping?

Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping device.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. That's why using e-cigarettes is called "vaping."

What Are the Health Effects of Vaping?

Vaping hasn't been around long enough for us to know how it affects the body over time. But health experts are reporting serious lung damage in people who vape, including some deaths.

Vaping puts nicotine into the body. Nicotine is highly addictive and can:

  • slow brain development in kids and teens and affect memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood
  • increase the risk of other types of addiction as adults

E-cigarettes also:

  • irritate the lungs
  • may cause serious lung damage and even death
  • can lead to smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use

Some people use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana, THC oil, and other dangerous chemicals. Besides irritating the lungs, these drugs also affect how someone thinks, acts, and feels.

Reviewed by: Lonna P. Gordon, MD

Date reviewed: September 2019

Did You Know?

More than 3.6 million middle and high school students currently use e-cigarettes, according to the latest National Youth Tobacco Study. Another national study last year found that 11 percent of high school seniors, 8 percent of 10th-graders, and 3.5 percent of eighth-graders vaped with nicotine during a previous one month period. The worrying part? Young people think vaping is mostly harmless.

-Yale Medicine

Teen Vaping Linked to More Health Risks


E-Cigs, Vaping, and Juuling


FDA commissioner says e-cigarettes are an “epidemic” among teenagers and wants manufacturers to come up with a plan.

“E-cigs have become an almost ubiquitous — and dangerous — trend among teens. The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth, and the resulting path to addiction, must end.”

-Food and Drug Administration chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb

Effects on Adolescent Brain

Experts say that growing use of tobacco products is particularly troubling because of how nicotine interacts with a young person’s developing brain.

Francis Leslie, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California Irvine, has studied the effects of nicotine on adolescent brains through animal models for many years. She says e-cigarettes are a worrisome trend.

“Our animal data actually seems to track fairly well with human epidemiological data that shows that the adolescent brain is uniquely sensitive to the negative effects of nicotine, and we’ve been studying what those effects are and what the mechanisms are for a number of years,” Leslie told Healthline.

One of the main conclusions from Leslie and her fellow researchers is that nicotine use among adolescents can enhance the rewarding effects of other drugs, particularly cocaine.

“It produces profound long-term changes in brain and behavior,” she said.

Therefore, she applauds the FDA’s action.

-Francis Leslie, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California Irvine

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Signs of Vaping

What do Vapes Look Like?

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Madison County Schools Policy

Vaping is prohibited in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses or at any school-sponsored function!

Prohibited Substances and Devices

The Madison County Board of Education prohibits certain substances from being in school, on school premises, on school buses, or at school-related activities away from the school. The following is a list of those substances and the action taken against those who violate this policy. This list is not a complete listing of items prohibited in school, but contains the ones most dangerous and most notable in society that should not be in schools. Other items may be prohibited at the discretion of the principal and according to other stipulations in the Student Code of Conduct.


Students shall not bring, possess, use, or sell tobacco in any form in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, or at any other school-sponsored function. Students shall not bring, possess, use, or sell an electronic cigarette; e-Cigarette, personal vaporizer, or electronic nicotine delivery system on school grounds, school buses, or at any other school- sponsored function. Students in violation of this policy will be subject to consequences under Classification of Violations and Consequences.

Drugs and Alcohol

Students are not to bring, possess, have in their personal belongings, in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, or at any school-sponsored activity, illegal drugs, oils, derivatives, synthetic drugs, prescription medication, over the counter medication, drug paraphernalia, electronic cigarettes, e-Cigarettes, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems; drug seeds and/or residue, simulated drug substances, alcohol or products containing alcohol; nor shall students be under the influence of illegal drugs, simulated drug substances, medication not prescribed for use by the student (See Medication Policy for rules concerning prescription drugs and medicine), over the counter medication, alcohol or products containing alcohol on school grounds, on school buses, or at any school-sponsored activity, or have consumed illegal drugs, oils, derivatives, synthetic drugs, prescription medication not prescribed for use by the student, over the counter medication, alcohol or products containing alcohol while in route to school or to any school-related activity.

Students who violate this policy will be suspended from attending regular classes and a disciplinary or expulsion hearing will be conducted to determine if additional action is necessary. Discipline of students with disabilities who violate this policy shall be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

ADPH Confirms State's First Death

from Vaping-Associated Illness

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has confirmed the state's first death from a vaping-associated injury. The deceased is an adult male in East Alabama.

The death comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues its investigation of a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with vaping. The CDC is investigating more than 805 lung injury cases in 46 states and 1 U.S. territory. Twelve deaths have now been confirmed in a total of 10 states (Alabama is not included in this number).

Those seeking medical attention due to potential vaping-associated injury should immediately inform healthcare providers they used a vaping/e-cigarette product (i.e., vape pens, liquids, refill pods and cartridges). Patients have experienced symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, with symptoms growing worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Most of the cases are among adolescents and young adults.

ADPH is asking persons who sought medical care for a potential vaping-related injury to contact Mr. Durham if they have any vaping/e-cigarette products that can be obtained for testing purposes.

ADPH recommends that all consumers consider refraining from the use of e-cigarettes and vape products until national and state investigations into vaping-related deaths and illnesses are complete. Two-thirds of the cases being investigated by the CDC involve patients who are 18 - 34 years old. As of October 1, there were 19 Alabama residents under investigation. Of the 19 reports, 4 cases have been identified and 9 other reports are still under investigation in Alabama; 3 have been identified as probable cases; 1 confirmed case (the deceased), of lung disease associated with vaping. National counts will be updated on Thursday.

Those who choose to continue the use of e-cigarettes and vape products should not buy these products off the street or from unregulated sources. Consumers should avoid modifying or adding any substances that are not intended by the manufacturer. Consumers with nicotine addiction who have used e-cigarettes as a method to quit smoking should not return to the use of conventional cigarettes.

ADPH has requested that health care providers report any cases of suspected serious respiratory illness they treat among patients who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “The use of any tobacco product is unsafe. While this current outbreak is being investigated, the safest option is to refrain from using any e-cigarette or vape product. Furthermore, there is no situation in which these devices should be used by pregnant women or youths.”

Alabama law now prohibits the sale or transfer of vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery devices to minors. Free help is available for individuals who are ready to kick the tobacco habit at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or

The Quitline provides individualized coaching to help any type of smoker or tobacco user, including e-cigarettes and vape, to quit. In addition, the Quitline offers up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches to those medically eligible and enrolled in the program. Quitline coaching services are available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight.

For additional information on electronic cigarettes and their health effects, visit

For more information on quitting tobacco, please visit ADPH Tobacco Prevention and Control at

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama's health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.



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Phone: (334) 206-5300 | Fax: (334) 206-5520