TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Health Department wants kids to know the possible dangers of vaping.
The department says vaping among high school students tripled in the last three years.
While they are getting in the classroom and talking to parents, they’re trying to make it harder to not only vape in public but to see others vaping.
“We can look at ordinances in our community, so like updating clean indoor air acts, updating workplace policies to include e-cigarettes in their smoking policies,” Craig Barnes with the Shawnee County Health Department said.
They are in the beginning phases of attempting to ban e-cigarettes at area parks.
“Can we include e-cigarettes in those to kind of de-normalize the usage of vape products among our impressionable youth so they might not pick up them up in the first place?” Barnes said.
The Clean Indoor Air Act came out in 2010 and now they want to see it reflect modern vaping habits.
“So their employees have the opportunity to breathe in a smoke-free environment,” Barnes said.
But it’s not just about de-normalizing vaping. Doctors say second-hand vapor should be a concern as well.
“Tobacco has definite second-hand effects. That took years of research to get that. We know that there’s something in the vapor that has killed some people,” Dr. Eric Voth, the Vice President of Primary Care at Stormont Vail Health. “We don’t know what, and if you’re exposed to that there’s no reason to think that that won’t have a negative effect.”
The research is still being conducted to keep up with the ever-changing vape products.
“Until we know, we have to presume that it’s potentially harmful,” Voth said.
The hotline for people trying to quit smoking or vaping is open around the clock. Their number is 1-800-QUIT.