Vernon School District will host a public forum March 5 at Vernon Secondary School to discuss the health concerns surrounding vaping among youth. (Photo contributed)

Vernon School District will host a public forum March 5 at Vernon Secondary School to discuss the health concerns surrounding vaping among youth. (Photo contributed)

Okanagan talk blowing down myths of vaping

Talk targets teens who use e-cigarettes and cannabis

Show a student a cigarette and most will turn up their nose in disgust against the cancer-causing addiction.

But a new trend, targeting youth with fruity flavours, is becoming the norm at local high schools.

Vape pens are a growing concern in the Vernon School District, along with pot.

So the school district will bring Dr. Marvin Krank to Vernon Secondary for a free public presentation Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m., called Challenging New Trends in Substance Use in Youth: Vaping and Cannabis legalization.

“Good kids get caught up in this,” explained Doug Rogers, the school district’s substance abuse prevention counsellor. “Believing the non-reality that it’s safe, or safer.

“When you add sweet flavours to it, like bubblegum, the kids enjoy it and they don’t see any downside.”

Vapes and e-cigarettes are largely aimed at youth, said Krank.

“They’re not trying to get me smoking again,” he said.

In fact, he says kids are starting as early as Grade 6, and sometimes younger.

Krank, a UBCO professor of psychology with a cognition and substance use lab, points to research that vaping is even harder to quit than cigarettes.

“We know there’s a lot of nicotine in them,” said Krank. “So we’re seeing a big rise in nicotine use rise with all of this.”

In fact, cigarette use has increased as vapes are largely expensive, therefore once addicted, some move onto cigarettes as they are more accessible, he explained.

But even those who stick to vapes are at a great health risk.

“It’s a form of poison,” said Rogers. “This one scares me the most.”

See: Letter: The dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes

Krank adds: “Just the cardiovascular effects of nicotine is something to be concerned about, plus there’s suspicion that it can lead to popcorn lung and other things.”

And it isn’t just a Vernon problem.

“This is an epidemic in North America,” said Rogers, adding that kids can easily access vapes and juice online as well as through parents who also believe it is better than smoking cigarettes.

“Do you think it’s a good idea to be sucking anything into your lungs?” he questioned.

Meanwhile school administration and district staff are tasked with enforcement while youth are at school.

“It’s off school property because that’s the law. If we as the adults don’t enforce it we get fined,” said Rogers, who spends a significant part of his day dealing with vaping, something he never had to deal with six years ago.

“It’s frustrating.”

See: City has updated smoking and vaping bylaws in Vernon

“But that’s not why we do it, we do it because we want to help protect the health of the kids.”

The legalization of cannabis is another area that schools are struggling with.

There are a few misconceptions. Basically none of them are good for kids

Krank will share some of the age-related risks of cannabis use, as well as e-cigarettes.

He will also talk about the misleading ways that drug use is cast and suggest how parents can keep informed and help their kids make healthier choices.

See also: Drug talk comes to elementary school

This presentation is free to the public and pre-registration is not required.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read