Does your teen vape? Do their friends?
Increasingly, the answer to at least one of those questions is probably yes.
Nationally, more than one in three high school seniors has vaped in the last year, and more than one in four have done so in the last month, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
And electronic cigarette use (vaping) is not limited to high schoolers. Some 18 percent of eighth graders had vaped in the last year, and about one in ten had done so in the last month, according to the spring survey.
Parents and community members who want to learn more about this alarming epidemic are invited to attend a free vaping information session on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at Dearborn High School. St. Joseph Mercy Health System will present the session Vaping 101: What’s Important to Know. The session will include information on what a vape is, how it is used, the effects of vaping, and the legal issues surrounding vaping.
Vaping is not allowed on any Dearborn Public School property. Students caught vaping or in possession of vaping products face serious discipline, including possible suspension, as well as a misdemeanor ticket from the school resource officer. In Michigan, those under the age of 18 are not allowed to buy or own vaping products.
Often parents and other adults do not realize youth are vaping. Many vape devices are designed to look like other items such as thumb drives or markers. Vaping also does not produce a tell-tale smell of cigarette smoke, but can deliver the same or even higher levels of addictive nicotine.