By Mary Lynch
As more cases of lung injury from vaping are reported, local high schools are trying to educate students and parents about the risks.
As of October 17, 27 cases of serious lung injury and one death have been linked to vaping in Los Angeles County, compared to 16 cases in mid-September. Individuals under age 25 account for about two-thirds of the injury cases.
At Franklin High School in Highland Park, school officials have worked with partners such as Children’s Hospital to create a multi-part after-school course on the dangers of vaping. The course is open to all students – and mandatory for any student caught vaping. “Instead of suspending, we want to educate them on the dangers…[and] offer counseling,” wrote Franklin Principal Regina Marquez-Martinez in an email. School officials also often recommend that parents of children caught vaping have them drug tested. (Vaping products may contain flavored liquids, nicotine, cannabis products or a mix of ingredients.) “It’s important for parents to know what is found in the child’s system,” said Marquez-Martinez, so that parents and school officials can work together to address the problem.
At Eagle Rock High, an anti-vaping after-school program is also mandatory for anyone caught vaping, while parents of the student are given referrals to outside counseling. There may be other consequences as well, based on what the student is caught with, wrote Assistant Principal Rosamaria Figueroa Calderon. On November 13, Eagle Rock High is holding an evening meeting for parents on the hazards of vaping with a speaker from the American Cancer Society.
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