Pender Co. Board of Education approves anti-vape program

Pender Co. Board of Education approves anti-vape program

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Pender County Board of Education approved the implementation of a vape education program for middle and high school students.

The program, called “Catch My Breath,” will focus on the dangers of vaping, how to resist the peer pressure to try e-cigarettes and learning how to understand e-cigarette advertising. The program will be taught in middle and high school P.E. classes and will be added on to the existing curriculum.

On January 3, 2020, P.E. teachers will begin training to teach the course, but the date that students will begin the course is not yet known. The decision came after the Pender County Health Department proposed the program to the county’s board of commissioners.

On Tuesday, the board also held a first reading of a policy that would add vaping in the “Drugs and Alcohol” section of the Pender County student handbook. The board noted that vaping would be treated with the same penalty as smoking.

Leaders also had a first reading on a policy change that would clarify that CBD oils, THC and vaping paraphernalia would be subject to confiscation. The board will further discuss the new proposals in 2020.

According to the CDC, more than 2,000 lung injury cases are due to vaping or e-cigarettes. The federal agency also reports there have been at least 42 deaths related to vaping lung illnesses. They claim products containing THC, the mind-altering compound in marijuana, play a role in the injuries.

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