Vape Away Day at RCHS deemed a success

According to statistics compiled by a National Health Interview released in 2017, 20 percent of those surveyed 18 and older reported smoking on a daily basis; of those, 15.8 percent males and 12.2 percent females.

In recent years, in an effort to curb or stop smoking aside from medical resources, many individuals have turned to what are known as E-cigarettes or vaping devices.

A number of questions have generated concern to both non-medical means to stop smoking. First, however, let us look at the difference between E-cigarettes and vaping devices.

- E-cigarettes (ECIGS) are designed to imitate the look and feel of a traditional cigarette. Many use a rechargeable battery system combined with a disposable liquid cartridge. Users press a button on the device or simply inhale thus activating a heating element that vaporizes a liquid to be inhaled.

- Vaping works similar to ECIGS as they too use a rechargeable battery system however they utilize a refillable tank for their fluid.

The fluids in both cases frequently have a flavor added such as cherry or mint for example and contain nicotine as wells as other potentially harmful chemicals.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse contend that using ECIGS or vaping devices is simply changing one bad habit for another in regards to traditional

A major concern is the growing number of teenagers using vaping devices. With that in mind, earlier this spring, the Rush County Health Department applied for and received grant monies from the Rush County Local Coordinating Council (LCC). As previously noted in the Rushville Republican, the LCC is charged with creating a maintaining a safe and drug free environment for all students and staff at Rush County Schools and the community as a whole.

Thanks in large part to the monies awarded by the LCC, the RCHD and RCHS teamed up and found means to help not only the students at the local high school, but also Rush County.

“The money we asked for had to be related to helping combat drug use, alcohol use or smoking, to name a few problem areas the LCC defined. We came up with a plan to help combat the growing “vape” issue within our high school,” Rush County Health office manager and environmentalist Julia Apple said.

She continued by adding she reached out to RCS and Rushville Reserve Police Officer Bob Bridges and RCHS Principal Rob Hadley for their input and ideas to address the “vaping” problem following a number of conversations, an exchange program for vaping devices was recently held at RCHS.

In weeks leading up to the event, flyers and other notifications were passed along to students as well as short videos were aired on Lions Live, the schools’ news system.

The plan was to exchange vaping devices for a $30 gift card and a drawing to win a pair of concert tickets. Students are able to use the gift cards at either Pizza King or Staggs and their name was entered into a drawing for a pair of concert tickets.

Prior to the one-day event held May 24 and during the most recent LCC meeting, Hadley said students were found frequently speaking about Vape Away effort and it was hoped a number of vaping devices with be exchanged.

In all, 19 vaping devices were exchanged and the event was deemed a success by all organizers.

“That is 19 less (devices) that could potentially be in the school. I think this is a big win. I’m looking forward to other events in the future. Mr. Hadley, Mr. Bridges and Superintendent Matt Vance clearly care a lot about the welfare of the students and I look forward to working with them on other events going forward,” Apple said.

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