Intermediate School Learns Dangers of Vaping
The dangers of vaping have been in the news a lot over the last several months. Vaping works through e-cigarettes which heat liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five high school students use e-cigarettes, an increase of 78% in the last two years.
The North Tonawanda Intermediate School Prevention Task Force and staff is working to educate students and start a conversation about the dangers of vaping before they even start about thinking about trying it. “This is one in a series of topics we will be bringing to students throughout the year,” explains Principal Katie Smith. “Knowledge is powerful and we want to give them access to as much information as we can so they can make good, healthy decisions for themselves. I actually had one student say that his brother told him it was just water. It is frightening how unaware they are of the dangers associated with it.” School Social Worker Jacqueline Rose adds, “This talk is very timely because if you look at the news, kids are in intensive care, kids are dying over vaping. I think our young kids still think it is cool and they think it is safe.”
Guest speakers Chelsea Zogaria of Northpointe Council, whose mission is based on person-centered prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery to those affected by substance use, and Lyndsay Stover of CHANT (Community Health Alliance of North Tonawanda) spent the day at the school talking to students about vaping and its short term and long term effects. “We are talking about vaping and its chemicals and how dangerous these products are with the students,” says Ms. Stover. “They don’t understand the ramifications of these products and how the tobacco industry is marketing to them to get them addicted to nicotine.”
Ms. Rose says the presentation definitely started the students thinking about vaping’s dangers. “We got a lot of feedback from teachers that they students talked a lot about the presentation and the information when they got back to class. It was definitely the conversation we wanted them to have.” “We are very grateful for these community partnerships we have,” says Mrs. Smith. “Especially the Northpointe Council and CHANT and all that they bring to the table with this preventive talk to our students. We are hoping to catch them before they head into the middle school and high school years.”
Above: (LtoR) Katie Smith (Principal of North Tonawanda Intermediate School), Chelsea Zogaria (Northpointe Council), Lindsay Stover (CHANT) Jacqueline Rose (School Social Worker) and Lexi Cretacci (School Social Worker).