East Allen County Schools Board Honored by Tobacco Free Allen County

East Allen County Schools Board Honored by Tobacco Free Allen County
Posted on 11/08/2017
Tobacco Free Allen County with School Board

Tobacco Free Allen County presented EACS' Board of Trustees the Smokefree Schools Policy Leadership Award. EACS' lead among Allen County schools in the inclusion of e-cigarettes/vaping in its smokefree workplace policy as Tobacco Free Allen County staffers researched our county's school corporations' stances on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices on school property.

“It was a real pleasure to be able to recognize EACS's leadership in this area and we hope that it will inspire other school corporations to follow suit”, said Nancy Cripe, Executive Director.

As a community partner of the Indiana State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission, Tobacco Free Allen County works to prevent tobacco use, promote tobacco cessation, and protect non-users from exposure to tobacco toxins in our county, whether it be at work, in public spaces or at school. Part of the work consists of assisting governing bodies to draft and enact policies to prevent exposure to secondhand e-cigarette chemicals and protect youth from initiation to nicotine addiction through such novel devices.

E-cigarettes/vaping devices have been marketed as both cessation aids and a safe alternative to conventional tobacco cigarettes, with no scientific backing for those claims. The limited research that exists does not justify either. Such marketing messages are not lost on our youth, however, who are drawn in by the "safer" claim; the novelty of the devices; the 7000+ flavorings of the solutions they contain; their "hi-tech" look; their versatile, customizable features; and erroneous reassurances that it's "just water vapor" being emitted.

From 2007 to 2014, rates of e-cigarette use among teens skyrocketed--in stark contrast to steadily declining rates of conventional cigarette use among teens.* According to the national Youth Tobacco Survey, administered in each state biennially, e-cigarette use tripled among middle and high school students in the two years between 2012 and 2014. While a dip in their use was shown on the 2016 Youth Tobacco Survey**, vaping devices remain the number one tobacco product currently used by teens, nationwide and in Indiana.

Cripe said, “This fact makes EACS' Board's foresight in getting out ahead of this new form of tobacco use especially noteworthy. It is crucial that our young people know that their school community leaders are committed to protecting them from toxic exposures. Of equal importance is for them to know that pro-health behaviors are their community's norm and that the adults charged with overseeing their academic and civic development care to protect them from a lifetime of nicotine addiction”.

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