Be vigilant in discussing vaping with teenagers

As if educators don’t have enough to worry about, now they must constantly be on the lookout for vaping devices in our local schools.

Marietta school administrators say vaping has become a major problem on both the high school and middle school campuses and the devices are easy to hide and hard to find. If they are caught vaping, students may not be willing to listen to the dangers that can go along with the practice, especially when it’s coming from their school principal or counselor.

We need to help with that.

Whether we have children, are family friends of children or aunts and uncles to children, we have to get the message to them that vaping isn’t harmless. It needs to be more than just a casual conversation. Youth who are vaping may need to feel fear about the possible health consequences to be motivated to stop.

We also need to teach these students to never provide a vaping device to someone else. Recently, at Marietta High School, a student provided a device to another student who had a reaction and had to be taken for medical treatment. Both students are now facing charges in juvenile court.

Make sure to have the conversation, even if you think there’s no way your child would try vaping. Many parents thought their children would never smoke cigarettes, try illegal drugs or drink before it was legal, and they’ve found out the hard way that it happens, all too often and even among the “good” kids.

Also make sure to know what the devices look like and keep an eye out for them.

Have the conversation, as many times as it takes to ensure the message gets through.

Schools can’t tackle this potential health emergency on their own.