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

Truck fire knocked down on Highway 97

The blaze has been knocked down by fire crews

More showings of controversial movie Unplanned scheduled in West Kelowna

One of the additional shows sold out in three minutes at the Landmark Xtreme

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Single vehicle roll over in West Kelowna sends one to hospital

One person sent to hospital with non life-threatening injuries

Rockets’ Thomson signs entry-level contract with Ottawa Senators

The defenceman was taken 19th overall by Ottawa in June’s NHL Entry Draft

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read