Anti-vaping event educates RHS students on dangers of vaping

The students of Republic High School held a peer-to-peer-led anti-vaping event on Monday, Jan. 28 as part of #Quit Lying Day, an initiative by the American Heart Association (AHA) to help spread information to high school students about the dangers of vaping.
“The American Heart Association planned this national #QuitLyingDay to help spread awareness about the harmful effects of vaping and to share that the vaping industry is lying about the safety profile of their products as well as their marketing techniques,” said Tyler Overstreet, Republic High School principal. “(It encourages) teens to use their voice to speak up and tell the vaping industry, ‘No More.’”
During the event, an estimated 1,300 students signed the #QuitLying letter, a letter Overstreet said the AHA created to “send a message to the vaping industry that we are going to hold them accountable.”
“We want them to quit lying about the safety of their products and their targeted marketing to kids,” Overstreet said.
During the event, students saw a video created by two teens who experienced addiction to vaping, which Overstreet said presented several facts about what vaping really does.
“Any teen can fall victim to the claims by the vaping industry that e-cigarettes or vaping is a safe alternative to cigarettes,” Overstreet said. “The nicotine content in one JUUL pod is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes and the addiction is real. Our teens are suffering from addiction to products that are marketed with flavors such as grape, strawberry milk, pink lemonade, berry mix, sour apple and many more. The facts presented to our students were to not be fooled by these flavors, that vaping is safe or that in some way it’s cool...because it’s not! It is addicting and harmful to your health.”
Overstreet said it is important that teens understand the risks of vaping, because a lot of the progress made in keeping teens away from smoking has been undone because vaping was presented as a safe alternative to cigarettes.
“More than one in four high school students are using e-cigarettes, compared to approximately one in 10 just two years ago,” said Overstreet. “This is a staggering increase (of) epidemic proportions. E-cigarettes have been falsely marketed to youth as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes. E-cigarette companies, including market leader JUUL, which is 35-percent owned by the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, are targeting youth and addicting a new generation to nicotine. This epidemic is reversing decades-long progress in reducing youth tobacco use.”

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Lawrence County Record

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