TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas State Board of Education met Tuesday for their monthly meeting. A large topic that was discussed was student vaping.
The board heard an update from the Vaping Task Force on what it has been doing to ensure students know vapes and e-cigarettes are dangerous to their health. The board also approved new anti-vaping signs.
“The more you can delay that use or prevent that use, the more likely it is that you’re going to keep people from a lifelong habit of nicotine addiction,” said Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) Task Force leader Mark Thompson.
When the task force was originally established by the board in June, its members quickly began working on ways to prevent this sudden escalation of student vaping.
“One of our priorities was making sure there was education and information out for the first day of school,” said board and task force member Michelle Dombrosky. “Gathering all of the information, as much education as we can on what’s happening around us and it’s happening fast.”
Anti-vaping signs were hung in the middle schools and high schools around the state for the first day of school. Dombrosky says students have begun to notice them, including her eighth-grade and tenth-grade sons.
“Eyes were just stunned with what they were seeing, like ‘I can’t believe this is happening, this is what vaping is doing. We were told it was safe, it’s not like cigarettes,'” Dombrosky said.
Students use to think vaping was considered “cool.” However, now they think it is pointless, according to Dombrosky.
The task force recommends schools not to punish students who are caught vaping, but instead to encourage counseling.