Vaping prevention programs have now been introduced in schools. This is brought by the continuous evolution of technology wherein vices are also adapting to such evolution. This holds true when it comes to smoking which then eventually led to the birth of e-cigarettes which are battery-powered vaporizers that simulates the action and sensation of smoking. The use of these e-cigarettes is often referred to as vaping because it does not produce tobacco smoke, but instead, an aerosol is released which is often mistaken as water vapor.
Most of these e-cigarettes contain nicotine and we all know that nicotine is a very addictive substance that can cause harm especially to the developing adolescent brain. And because the brain of these kids is still developing up until the age of 25 years, the youth and young adults’ exposure to nicotine can lead to an addiction that can eventually disrupt their attention and learning.
Campaigns made for Vaping Prevention
Because vaping among young adults has become rampant, there have been campaigns that are being made across different sates and schools to put a stop on tobacco use. There were public information campaigns that are education the parents of middle and high school-aged youth about the dangers that are brought about by vaping and e-cigarettes.
These campaigns are then targeting an audience aged 12 to 17 years old who have used, using, or even considering trying e-cigarettes or vaping. The end goal for these vaping prevention campaigns is to forestall these young adults of becoming e-cigarettes users by educating them about the various dangers of vaping and also making the connection between vaping or using e-cigarettes and smoking of combustible cigarettes.
There have been various messages, approaches, and images about vaping prevention that was tested with middle and high school students through the use of focus groups which is a research method that brings together people in order to provide feedback regarding a product, service or concept, or marketing campaign. During these focus groups also, the youth will then be able to overwhelmingly express their desire to receive straight facts about vaping. With this information along with their parent’s feedbacks and the youth that vaping is perceived to be different from cigarette smoking, it will lead to an informed message and image for the campaign.
With this type of campaign, it will be able to reach to the youth directly through many channels like online and social media vaping prevention ads on platforms that are well-known with the youth such as Snapchat, Spotify, and Instagram. The campaign can also be done through web pages including Instagram accounts wherein the youth can seek for more information and resources. Or it can be done through organizations such as school organizations and community-based organizations along with posters, fact clings, and handouts. There is a lot of ways that you will be able to utilize the campaign and the resources that are available within your school or community-based organizations.
Here are also some ideas that are also being reinforcing vaping prevention drive:
- Adult education about vaping should be reinforced
A great way to reinforce the education of parents or guardians including the staff in the organization about e-cigarettes is by using the materials and youth campaign. If you have not done this yet, then you may want to consider doing a presentation to these audiences presenting basic information about e-cigarettes.
There are already sample presentations that can be found in the sections for School Administrators and for Curriculum Coordinators, Health Educators, and the Teachers.
- Consider hanging vaping prevention campaign posters
You can think about a compelling line that you can use as a slogan for your poster in order to effectively deliver the message to the youth. It is recommended that you hang your posters throughout the building where they can be visible. Some ideas for placement are the bathrooms, locker rooms, classrooms counselor’s office, the nurse’s office, the coach’s office, bulletin boards, hallways, lunchroom walls, concession stands at school events or the meeting rooms among others.
- Consider hanging fact clings
You can do this by printing small clings about each of the four main facts of the campaign poster and then adhere it to windows, mirrors, doors and other surfaces. This is because there has been a focus group during the campaign which reported that the school bathrooms are often the most favored vaping location, so clings should be intended to be placed in such locations but, it can still be used to other areas in the building as well.
- Have the vaping prevention campaign handout distributed
When you have a two-sided handout or fact sheets, it should contain more facts about the dangers of vaping or the use of e-cigarettes. These handouts shall expand on the four main facts that the poster and the clings provide for the youth. You can have these handouts be readily available as a resource for the youth by making it visible in the counselor’s office, or nurse’s office, or make it a part of an assembly or health class when tacking the topic of tobacco or other substance use prevention.
What School Administrators Can Do For Vaping Prevention
There have been laws that were enacted prohibiting smoking in all enclosed workplaces, and this includes public and private schools. Moreover, it is also been required that all public schools through high school must prohibit smoking on school grounds, including school buses, and also at the school-sponsored events during normal school hours.
Schools also have the authority for them to create their own policies in relation to tobacco use which includes the use of e-cigarettes on school property for students, staff, and visitors.
Below are points on what you can do:
- Have the current school tobacco policy reviewed and strengthened
There have been established guidance for schools that are looking to address e-cigarettes in their school tobacco policy. This school tobacco policy contains information about all the applicable laws which include sample school tobacco policy language in order to include e-cigarettes and vaping.
- Educate the staff
These e-cigarettes and other vaping products are often not that easily recognizable. By having the staff educated about these products and about your school’s policy to address them, then it is an essential part of the strategy to reduce student use.
- Educate the parents
As the school administrator, it is essential that you also consider educating parents regarding information about the problem of vaping and the steps that you can take in order to protect the youth, which is the most critical consideration.
- Make sure to know more about tobacco use in your district or school
By collecting data on the types of tobacco products that students are using and where they obtain such tobacco products, it can help inform education efforts and decisions about your school policies. There are sample surveillance questions as to how students obtain such tobacco products, perceptions of harm, and the use of marijuana.
- These data have additional uses and these include the following:
- This helps in capturing trends over time in the use of conventional and emerging tobacco products and then comparing local use rates against statewide use rates.
- This helps track marijuana in electronic vapor products, and the concurrent use of tobacco and marijuana.
- This helps increase support for the community-level tobacco control policies which have the potential to decrease the tobacco exposure of the use, including its access and use.
The use of e-cigarettes is indeed becoming popular among the youth than using any traditional tobacco product. In fact, in the year 2015, it was reported by the U.S. surgeon general that the use of e-cigarettes among high school students has significantly increased by 900 percent and there is 40 percent of those young e-cigarette users who have never smoked regular tobacco.
It was also revealed that there are three reasons why e-cigarettes have become particularly enticing to young people. The first of these reasons is that there are a lot of teens who believe that vaping is less harmful than traditional smoking. The second reason is that e-cigarettes have a lower cost per usage than that of traditional cigarettes. The third reason is that vape cartridges are often formulated with different flavorings such as strawberry and watermelon that are appealing to young e-cigarette users.
As such, both the youth and adult groups find the lack of smoke appealing in the sense the smell of smoke is eliminated, e-cigarettes have reduced the stigma of smoking.
It was also said that what the most concerning thing about the rise of vaping is that people who would have never considered smoking, especially the youth, are now taking up vaping as part of their habit. As such, it is one thing you are converting from cigarette smoking to vaping. However, it is quite another thing to start up with nicotine use through vaping. With this tendency, it still often leads to using traditional tobacco products along the way.
The school, the parents and the support to these young people indeed play a very crucial role in order to place an effective vaping prevention program to these groups.