- Webutuck High School
Students Hear Talk on Dangers of Vaping
Dora Celestino used one word to sum up what she hoped was taken from her talk on vaping to students in grades seven through 12 on Dec. 9.
“Knowledge,” said Celestino, community prevention educator for the Council on Addiction Prevention & Education (CAPE) of Dutchess County. “Knowledge is power. I want to educate them. Their voices are important.
“The importance of getting youth to see they are targeted. It’s not geared for adults, although adults do vape. It’s geared for youth because their brains aren’t fully developed and a developing brain is easier to addict.”
Here are some facts Celestino shared at the talk:
- 99 percent of all vapes have nicotine.
- Vaping harms brain development.
- It takes 10 seconds to get hooked on vaping.
- There are over 500 different vaping devices with flavors.
- One puff bar equals more than two packs of cigarettes.
- There were 2,035 injuries from vaping between 2015 and 2017.
- Using vapes may lead to lung disease, a black tongue and tooth decay.
- Formaldehyde, used to embalm dead bodies, and aerosol, used in hair sprays, are among the chemicals used in vapes.
- JUUL spent $75 million on advertising to lure kids into vaping. Vaping ads were seen in such places as the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Seventeen magazine.
- Celestino briefly touched on marijuana and fentanyl use, and mentioned Dutchess County ranked first in New York State for overdose deaths at 43.3 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020.
“I think she did a really nice job of explaining exactly how these products are marketed and how they work,” said Matthew Pascale, principal of Eugene Brooks Intermediate School. “More often than not, younger people are not doing that sort of research. So to be able to bring it to the forefront and have them see exactly what’s going on is very important, especially because they are the ones being targeted.”
Robert Knuschke, principal of Webutuck High School, said it’s not uncommon in most middle and high schools to have students bring vapes to school.
“It’s certainly much easier to hide than cigarettes, but we do have such cases of our high school and middle school kids vaping, not as many as in the past,” he said. “We’ve done some preventative and proactive things. That doesn’t necessarily address the source of the problem. I think the source of the problem is not knowing what these chemicals can do to you, and that was one of the big reasons we brought in the guest speaker.
“If it keeps one kid from trying tobacco, drugs or vaping; if it keeps one kid or a couple of kids from accepting a vape in school, then it’s totally worth the time.”
Alex Caldiero, a high school freshman, shared his thoughts on the talk.
“What I found interesting was how many different types there were,” he said. “The injuries it causes to mental and physical health; I didn’t know that. I’m honestly disgusted with the fact they put it on kid shows.
“I’ve never done it. I don’t plan on doing it.”
STOP VAPING: Anyone looking to stop vaping may text DITCHVAPE to 88709.
CONTACT CAPE: (845) 765-8301, capedc.org