Week of August 19th
Dear Rio Families,
State and federal health officials are investigating dozens of cases of mystery lung illnesses related to vaping in young people all across the country. The states include California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here is the article to learn more:https://www.washingtonpost.com/mystery-lung-illness-linked-to-vaping
On campus at Rio Americano, students have begun seeing “No Smoking, No Vaping, No Marijuana” signs in classrooms and educational posters in and around the bathrooms. They are learning that youth who vape are 4x more likely to start smoking cigarettes than teens who don’t vape. They are learning that e-cigarettes produce an aerosol that has nicotine, toxins, and harmful chemicals known to cause cancer.
And they are learning that there is free help available if they are addicted and want to quit. School counselors have resources and there is a great website here: https://teen.smokefree.gov/quit-vaping Students can learn tips and strategies about how to quit, how to deal with vape cravings and nicotine withdrawal, and how to handle the social aspects of vaping.
The first Anti-Vaping Alliance meeting of the year will be held in the library on Thursday, August 29 at 7 p.m. Students and families are encouraged to attend. If you have questions ahead of time, please e-mail vice principal Rob Kerr at email@example.com, counselor Meghan Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or parent Anne Del Core at email@example.com.
Week of August 12th
Dear Rio Families,
Attached to your student’s schedule this week was a letter with information about the nationwide vaping epidemic and Rio’s response to it. It included a photograph of some of the vaping devices that were confiscated at Rio last year. That photo is attached here if you didn’t see it. We believe it is important for everyone to be informed about the issue…for student safety and school safety.Here are ten things to know about vaping from the California Department of Public Health:
1. U.S. Surgeon General named vaping a youth epidemic.
2. E-cig usage by high school students rose 78% between 2017 and 2018. That’s close to double the kids exposed to nicotine in a single year.
3. Nicotine is one of the most toxic of all poisons.
4. Nicotine rewires teens’ developing brains.
5. Nicotine can escalate anxiety, mood swings and learning difficulties.
6. Teens are at a higher risk of addiction than adults.
7. Nicotine use in adolescence makes it easier to develop addiction to other drugs.
8. None of Juul’s pods are without nicotine, but 5 out of 8 young Juulers were not aware of that.
9. A single Juul pod can contain the nicotine of a pack of cigarettes and may deliver nicotine to the brain 2.7 times faster than other e-cigs.
10. Changes to the brain from nicotine can be permanent.
Below are some additional resources to learn about vaping prevention.
Flavors Hook Kids is a website with a downloadable guide full of practical information on what to do about vaping. It has information that is useful to teens, and the adults in their lives.
- Here’s the website: https://www.flavorshookkids.org
- And a downloadable guide: https://43xomh2apgzav5gh32k8zb4j-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/flavorshookkids-share-v25.pdf
Still Blowing Smoke is a website that focuses on health impacts of vaping, as well as the link between e-cigarettes and the tobacco industry.
- Here’s that website: https://stillblowingsmoke.org
We hope you will join in on the effort to address this teen epidemic. Please plan to attend the first Anti-Vaping Alliance meeting on Thursday, August 29th in the Rio library. We will have the confiscated vaping devices for you to see and smell, and we will learn about what the school is doing to support student health and safety. If you or your student would like to be involved in the Alliance, please e-mail vice principal Rob Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org, counselor Meghan Wilson at email@example.com or parent Anne Del Core at firstname.lastname@example.org.