Anti-vaping class gives resources to educators

Local News

A 17-year-old boy in Michigan is recovering after a rare double-lung transplant. Surgeons believe the damage was from vaping.

Educators gathered today to try to stop this from happening here in North Dakota.

Students spend about eight hours a day, five days a week, in the classroom — which is why teachers and educators are the perfect people to help stop a growing epidemic.

“Kids spend so much time in school and they trust their teachers. They trust teachers to give them accurate information and we want kids to make informed decisions,” said Holly Brekhus, health promotions director for First District Health Unit.

But first, they must be informed themselves.

After many requests from schools for educational tools on vaping, Minot’s First District Health Unit held a training to help educators learn how to discourage vaping among teenagers.

“We want them using reputable curriculum. We don’t want them using what the tobacco industry are giving them, because we know its questionable,” said Brekhus.

She said teaching students to say no, being direct and giving them real facts are easy ways for educators to start the conversation. One administrator said that’s exactly what they are doing.

“We still have some punitive measures that we use for students if they are caught using a vape on campus or bring it. But we also have an educational piece that reduces the consequence if they are willing to partake in an educational class,” said David McQueen, assistant principal at Minot High School Magic City Campus.

Over half of students surveyed in the state of North Dakota have admitted to trying vaping. David McQueen said even young students are experimenting.

“Across our school district I think, obviously we were seeing things at the middle school and high school level,” said McQueen,

He says the first step to preventing more kids from using e-cigarettes… is to invest not just in the education of students, but also their lives.

“The students that we have right now are tomorrow’s leaders and we need them to be healthy in order to move our community forward, move our state forward, and they can’t do that if they are not here,” said McQueen.

First District Health Unit said parents and teachers have to work together to help stop the rise of vaping. So if you want some resources to help talk to your kids about vaping, CLICK HERE.

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