Discipline or treatment? Schools rethinking vaping response

ABC News | 5/26/2019 | Staff
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A glimpse of student athletes in peak physical condition vaping just moments after competing in a football game led Stamford High School Principal Raymond Manka to reconsider his approach to the epidemic.

His school traditionally has emphasized discipline for those caught with e-cigarettes. Punishments become increasingly severe with each offense, from in-school suspensions to out-of-school suspensions and, eventually, notification of law enforcement.

Manka - Addiction - Problem - Issue - Players

But Manka began thinking about it more as an addiction problem, and less of a behavior issue, after seeing the two players from another school vaping near their bus. "It broke my heart," said Manka, whose school is now exploring how to offer cessation programs for students caught vaping or with vaping paraphernalia.

"We've got to figure out how we can help these kids wean away from bad habits that might hurt their body or their mind or otherwise create behaviors that can create habits that will be harmful for the remainder of their lives," he said.

Schools - Discipline - Prevention - Treatment - Response

Schools elsewhere have been wrestling with how to balance discipline with prevention and treatment in their response to the soaring numbers of vaping students.

Using e-cigarettes, often called vaping, has now overtaken smoking traditional cigarettes in popularity among students, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping the previous month, according to a CDC survey .

E-cigarettes - Aerosol - Liquid - Levels - Nicotine

E-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that usually contains high levels of nicotine — the addictive drug in regular cigarettes and other tobacco products — flavorings and other chemicals. Users inhale this aerosol into their lungs; when they exhale, bystanders often breathe it in too.

Compared with regular cigarettes, the research on the health effects of e-cigarettes is painfully thin. Experts say that although using e-cigarettes appears less harmful over the long run than smoking regular cigarettes, that doesn't...
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