WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Amidst a recent string of vaping-related illnesses across the country, South Brunswick High School hosted a forum for parents and students to discuss the dangers of vaping.
Parents and officials stressed many of the health problems associated with vaping, such as the the danger of exposing nicotine and potentially harmful chemicals to the developing brains of teenagers. The South Brunswick High School faculty polled the student body and found that 20% of students have tried vaping or e-cigarettes before.
While vaping is not allowed in the school, many parents believe that the best strategy to end this problem is to educate, rather than punish. Stephanie Hall is the mother of a Brunswick county school student and she feels strongly that discipline will only make the situation worse.
"In addition to being addicted to nicotine, you’re going to also start affecting their education because they’re going to be missing class.”
Phillip Tarte is the NHC Health Director and he agrees with this strategy, noting that "what we want to see is more education, as to the addiction and particularly the education on how individuals can quit. That’s going to be our primary goal, less enforcement and more of the educational component to get people where they need to be.”
Tarte issued a firm warning toward parents about allowing their teenage children to vape.
“Any parent, including myself, should be concerned if their children are smoking or vaping," Tarte says. "These are unknown contaminants. There has not been enough long-term studies to understand what those complications can be and I would encourage them to stop their children from vaping and smoking at all costs.”