Superintendent: Younger kids not immune to allure of e-cigarettes
One in four Oklahoma high schoolers have vaped in the past 30 days. That’s according to a vaping awareness campaign created by the state’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust. But it’s not just older kids using nicotine.
A superintendent in Rogers County says his district comprised of about 515 younger students has caught middle schoolers with e-cigarettes, too. Dr. Shane Boothe of the Justis-Tiawah district says kids don’t always understand the addictive properties of vapes.
“A lot of the students, they really don’t give it a whole lot of thought. There’s still this stigmatism out there that it’s safer than smoking,” said Boothe.
But researchers report e-cigarettes can contain 20 times the nicotine in a cigarette. And with illegal vapes still sporting flavors that appeal to kids, Boothe says nobody is immune to addiction.
“What I've seen is, I've been just as surprised when it comes out of someone’s backpack as I could be, and then there are times when I've been like, ‘Those students have vapes, and this and that,’ but those students don't. It's definitely something you can’t stereotype,” said Boothe.
Experts recommend talking to your children about nicotine use. According to TSET’s campaign, knowing the dangers of vaping before going into a conversation is advisable. For more tips from TSET, visit the campaign’s website.