WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Ivonne Rivera-Newberry is a mother to two teenage children who attend high school and middle school in Maize. She says although her children don’t vape, she says it’s an important conversation to have at home.
“We just let them know it’s just because people are doing it doesn’t mean that it’s an accepted thing number one, and it doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest,” said Rivera-Newberry.
The Kansas State Board of Education is concerned enough about e-cigarette use among high school and middle school students that it listened to a presentation on vaping Tuesday, during its regular monthly meeting.
The state school board said a 2017 survey showed that more than one-third of high school students had tried e-cigarettes.
The board heard from a Kansas Department of Health and Environment about the health concerns surrounding e-cigarettes.
“One Juul pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes or 200 puffs,” said Jordan Roberts, KDHE Youth Prevention Manager. “So, this is an unreasonable amount of nicotine.”
Roberts says the best way to combat vaping is for schools to prohibit all tobacco products on school grounds.
Executive Director of Blue Valley school district David Stubblefield shared his district’s efforts to reduce vaping.
Blue Valley has updated its code of conduct, educated students and families on vaping, and provided professional learning for staff.
Rivera-Newberry says it’s also up to parents to be involved.
“I’m happy to hear that the school board is taking some action on this, but I think the parents need to get behind this as well,” said Rivera-Newberry.