CARLISLE, Ind. (WTHI) – Educators at Carlisle Elementary and Junior High School said now is the time to educate students about the consequences of vaping.
Trooper Jim Dotson gave a presentation to students on Friday about the use of e-cigarettes. Dotson is a School Resource Officer at Carlisle Elementary and Junior High School. Students had the opportunity to learn how e-cigarettes can impact their bodies and the consequences that can result if they bring an e-cigarette to school.
“The dangers and the harmful effects and injuries that can occur to their lungs by inhaling the vapors that are created with e-cigarettes,” Dotson said.
The CDC reports most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Dotson said the danger increases when students begin vaping other substances.
“It’s not just the nicotine; its THC products and cannabinoids,” Dotson said.
He hopes students will recognize the consequences before it’s too late.
“[We want to] let the kids know, ’Hey, we do care about what goes into your lungs, because you have to use your lungs the rest of your life,’” Dotson said.
Indiana is currently investigating 75 cases of severe lung injury. All of them are linked to vaping. The state said three Hoosiers have died from vaping complications since September 6. The most recent National Youth Tobacco Survey found: 3.6 million kids were using e-cigarettes in 2018. That survey also found 5-percent of middle schoolers were e-cigarette smokers.
Dotson said during the presentation that middle school students are at a prime age to be targeted. He explained how companies use certain marketing strategies, like color coding and disguising products to look like candy, to draw in kids.
Dotson said students often use e-cigarettes because they’re easy to conceal. It’s something school administrators know all too well.
“I even had a student in elementary within the last few years who had an e-cigarette, so we have to get it at the early age to try to stop it before it gets any bigger for them,” Carlisle Elementary and Junior High School Principal, Glenda Jones, told News 10.
A student who brings an e-cigarette to school may face suspension. Jones believes it is important to have conversations with students about the use of e-cigarettes.
“I do not want to see any one of my students get into the trap of nicotine, and the dangers associated with it,” Jones said.