Learn About Vaping

Student Assistance Team of LHS


There is a concerning growing trend amongst our students.

In years past we might walk down the hall, following a scent trail reeking of tobacco, leading into the bathroom where a student can be found smoking a cigarette.

Today, we are much more likely to encounter weak hints of strawberries, oranges, and bubblegum as students leave their class for a "bathroom break" and take a quick hit from their "vape."

The consequences for both are the same: a school suspension and possible citation. But students are often surprised because, as they say, "vaping isn't harmful." Parents often wonder about this rule too. In the "old days" if we confiscated cigarettes from kids, parents would ensure they were thrown out. These days, parents are often picking up the vapes/E-cigarettes that we confiscated and turning them back over to their children, because they've been told that it's "just water vapor" or simply "smells like watermelon."

Since electronic cigarettes emit an aerosol that does not smell like smoke and their use is difficult to detect, some students may believe incorrectly that e-cigarettes do not have adverse health effects and/or are not prohibited at school.

According to the 2016 U.S. Surgeon General’s report on e-cigarette use among young adults, the primary health concerns are related to nicotine addiction, exposure to chemicals, and ingestion of liquid nicotine that can be toxic for the body. A link to this report can be found below.

Regarding student behavior, LHS will continue to comply with state law by prohibiting smoking on campus and maintaining a smoke-free learning environment. In the District’s Student Code of Conduct, consequences for possession, use, and distribution of e-cigarettes can be substantial and include up to suspension from school.

We know that vaping isn't safe and wanted to share some important resources with you. With these new technologies, it's hard to keep up so we wanted to do our best to help.

Photo credit: KSDK in St. Louis. Read/Watch related story http://www.ksdk.com/article/news/health/juuling-the-new-high-tech-fad-among-teens/493742982

What are you looking at?

Check out the image above. What are you looking at? A flashdrive, wifi extender? Believe it or not you are looking at a vape charging in a computer usb port. The nicotine contained in this device may be as much as an entire pack of cigarettes.

There is a fairly new e-cigarette device called the “Juul” vaporizer that looks like a small USB flash drive and can be charged while plugged into a laptop. (Students refer to using this device as “juuling.”) The Juul is small enough to fit inside a student’s enclosed hand and does not emit any odor, so it’s easily concealable from adults and simple to use for teens. Also, the pods used with the Juul come in kid-friendly flavors such as strawberry, mango, fruit medley, and mint flavors - all flavors that might appear harmless. However, one Juul pod contains as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. Even more concerning is that the Juul device can be used with marijuana and the Juul is easy to purchase online without age verification. Locally, these can be purchased over the counter at convenience stores.



The Dangers

The teen years are critical for brain development. Young people who use nicotine products in any form - including e-cigarettes - are uniquely at risk for long-lasting effects. Because nicotine affects the development of the brain's reward system, continued e-cigarette use can not only lead to nicotine addiction, but it also can make other drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine more pleasurable to a teen's developing brain.

Nicotine also affects the development of brain circuits that control attention and learning. Other risks include mood disorders and permanent problems with impulse control—failure to fight an urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.

In 2015, about 4.7 million middle and high school students had used tobacco products in the 30 days prior to the National Youth Tobacco Survey studied by the CDC. E-cigarettes were by far the most popular tobacco product with 3 million users.

“Nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical period for brain development, can cause addiction, might harm brain development, and could lead to sustained tobacco product use among youths,” the CDC reports. In fact, they say 80% of adult smokers first tried smoking by age 18.