AKRON, Iowa (KCAU) – A new warning surrounding e-cigarettes on Tuesday. The American Medical Association wants everyone to stop using them immediately. The urgent guidance comes after hundreds of cases of severe lung illnesses nationwide.
The CDC’s last report found that about 5 million teenagers are using a tobacco product currently. It’s a staggering number that has many schools worried about the next generation.
“This is not the best time in our society to be a teenager. We’re talking about social media, and you are talking about vaping, these things that are in front of them on a daily basis, and I just think they are faced with some challenges that I know I wouldn’t have handled very well at their age. So I worry about them,” said Briggs.
Derek Briggs is the principle of Akron Westfield High School and said he has had too many problems with his students vaping.
“I fear that a lot of our students are going to be kinda is that vein of being affected by it, and it may be too late for some of them before we finally realize how serious this is,” said Briggs.
Briggs has worked with teachers to add a vaping lesson in their health class, and they also are sharing resources with students to help them quit.
“We are hoping to put several things into place maybe a student-led team other things that might be able to pass that along so that they have the most correct information and be as informed as possible,” said Heather Morehead the Nurse at Akron Westfield.
Iowa is now one of nine states to join a coaching program “My Life, My Quit” aimed at helping teens kick the habit.
“Punishment of people who are using these products is really difficult to do, because when you are looking at as many as one in five teens using these products, you can’t just send one in five teens from school. We are happy that we can offer this program as an alternative to suspension schools can certainly refer young people to our program,” said Thomas Ylioja, with National Jewish Health.
Since launching in July, the nationwide program has already had 150 teens working with coaches to quit.
“This is a decision that teens have to make on their own that nobody else can make for them and that we are here to support them when they make that change,” said Ylioja.
The program “My Life, My Quit” offers five secessions with coaches to best quit vaping.