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Vaping becoming public health crisis in schools

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BY DR. KEVIN SABET
President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana

With the new school year upon us, it’s crucial parents and teachers talk to students about school safety. This year, the different threats to safety can seem overwhelming for parents. One new trend unfortunately picking up steam in New Mexico’s schools is vaping and marijuana.

Over the past 30 years, school health programs have put a premium on warning students about the harmful effects of cigarettes and alcohol.

Now, vaping is rapidly becoming the latest public health crisis – delivering harmful, addictive substances to kids, some as young as middle school, undetected. It’s a two-fold problem.

According to the National Institutes of Health, seven in 10 teens report being exposed to e-cigarette advertising. And it’s working. A recent study found “a dramatic increase” in youth vaping, with more than 37 percent of 12th-graders reporting vaping in the past year. According to data from the New Mexico Department of Health, almost one in four students between ninth and 12th grades reported using e-cigarettes in 2017.


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