In conjunction with National Kick Butts Day, March 15th, Mr. Augusta, the high school principal, and I are taking the opportunity to raise awareness regarding the health effects of tobacco and nicotine product usage, and the growing vaping market among our community’s youth. Recent research indicates that the use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including personal refillable vaporizers, e-cigarettes, and vape pens has dramatically increased nationally among middle school and high school students.
The long term health effects of using ENDS are relatively unknown. The health effects of ENDS may not be limited to users and ENDS aerosol is not “water vapor.” It contains nicotine and can contain additional toxins, and thus, is not safe. As with conventional tobacco products, nicotine itself is not without risk. Nicotine is addictive and nicotine exposure during certain periods of development can impair the development of brain circuits and neurons, changing the way the brain works. Also an increasingly popular method of ENDS use is to self-mix the e-liquid—both the nicotine content and the flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, or chocolate)—prior to use which makes its safety more questionable. (Center for Disease Control, April 2015).
As always, student safety is our priority and we have attached several informational documents for parents with regard to ENDS. Please remember that school policy states that possession of tobacco products and/or products containing nicotine are prohibited on school grounds. This includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, vapors, and vaping liquids.