Roseville Community Schools to host presentation on vaping

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 5, 2019

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ROSEVILLE — Roseville Community Schools will host a program on vaping and vape products to help educate families on what school officials are calling a growing problem.

The presentation will be led by representatives from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Tobacco Section. They will share statistics about vaping, discuss the health risks and share examples of what vaping paraphernalia looks like.

“(The presentation) provides information about e-cigarette devices, the liquid used, health information and prevention efforts we have aimed at youth,” said MDHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin. “We are encouraging youth not to vape, and that if they want to quit, we want them to know about the My Life, My Quit program. It’s something we are doing that is tailored specifically to teens.”

The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Roseville Community Schools Administration Building, located at 18975 Church St. It is not required to RSVP for the event, but it is requested so that the organizers have an idea of numbers. To RSVP, visit www.facebook.com/RosevilleCommunitySchools.

Sutfin said that the issue has become an especially relevant one with more teens turning to vaping.

“We are seeing more kids than ever getting into vaping,” Sutfin said. “We have been seeing increases in vape use of as much as 300% in some communities. With these increases, we want them to know about the potential health implications.”

Roseville Superintendent Mark Blaszkowski said that the issue is one that educators must address.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of vape products brought to school, which is obviously not allowed,” he explained. “We want to provide a safe environment for our schools, and part of that is educating our students and parents about the dangers of vaping.”

Blaszkowski stressed the dangers of vaping and that people don’t know how harmful it can be to health — particularly the health of young people.

“We also want to educate students about the dangers of vaping,” he said. “There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about kids who have died or permanently damaged their lungs. It’s been promoted as a safe alternative to smoking, and it’s not. … A lot of vape products contain marijuana or THC oils, and a lot of kids don’t realize that, especially if they are sharing them from friend to friend. It compromises their safety and health.”

Sutfin said there are many things people need to be aware of when it comes to the possible repercussions of e-cigarette use.

“One of the things is that they are still inhaling chemicals in their lungs,” Sutfin explained. “Across the country, we are seeing numerous lung injuries related to vaping. There are many cases of respiratory issues or people having to be put on respirators that have been related to vaping. Even though many products are labeled ‘nicotine free,’ they still may have nicotine in them and people can become addicted to them. Some devices have even exploded and injured individuals.”

Blaszkowski wants to make sure families know the extent of the problem and that many teens are using vaping products without their parents’ knowledge.

“According to the Surgeon General, 1 in 5 high school students have used or use vape products, as well as one in 20 middle school students,” he said. “That is an alarming figure, so we need to start educating parents. A lot of these products are designed to disguise the identity of a vaping product by disguising it as something else.” 

He added that what makes the situation more frustrating is that companies are clearly targeting youths.

“When companies create products that are bubblegum flavored, they are clearly targeting kids,” said Blaszkowski. “It’s a repeat of what cigarette companies were doing to attract kids in the past so they get lifelong customers.”

Sutfin added that the problem can be one that parents are not even aware of.

“We want people to be aware that there are many kinds of vaping devices,” she explained. “You might not even notice it in your own home. There are real health risks with vaping, and it’s something parents need to talk to their kids about.”

School officials said that the core of this upcoming presentation is education. Administrators want parents to know everything they can about vaping for the benefit of the district’s students.

“We want to spread awareness of the severity of the problem and let people recognize these products in their home so they can recognize them if they see them,” Blaszkowski remarked. “The school and parents need to work together to help kids make healthy decisions.”

More information on the My Life, My Quit program can be found at www.mylifemyquit.com.

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