MADISON, Ala. - Students at James Clemens high school in Madison have taken on the fight to end vaping in schools.
Do you vape?
The Partnership for a Drug-Free Community met with the James Clemens principal advisory committee today to talk about vaping. The committee is a group of 24 students.
The Drug-Free Community group usually holds talks for parents, but it wants students talking to their peers about the effects of vaping. So the group is arming the students with information they need to know.
Do you know what you're inhaling?
"We just want them to know the dangers of vaping. A lot of time students will see vaping or JUULing as cool and it's not. There's a lot of dangers involved. There's a lot of research out there showing that the vaping numbers are actually up," said Madison City Schools safety, security, and emergency management coordinator David West.
Officials said the number of students caught vaping in Madison City Schools this year has slightly decreased from last year. West said he attributes the lower numbers to more education on vaping risks.
"It's so prevalent," said West. "It's not traditional tobacco smoke where you have the traditional smell and the tar...a lot of students don't understand that it has nicotine and other dangerous chemicals."
So, let's clear the smoke
The Stanford Medicine Tobacco Prevention Toolkit provides a lot of information on e-cigs/vapes/pod-based devices, nicotine addiction, tobacco and smokeless tobacco, hookah, and positive youth development.
The toolkit revealed this startling fact.
1 pack of cigarettes (20 mg of nicotine) = 20 cigarettes.
1 JUUL pod (41.3 mg of nicotine) = 41 cigarettes.
Education is key
West said over 27% of high school students in the U.S. vaped in the last 30 days. "That's astronomical," he said. "Over the last year we've had two-parent workshops and were both successful, but taking the message directly to the students is important because students listen to their peers."