A scary outbreak of lung injuries from vaping have left teens throughout the country hospitalized and some even critically injured.

To help combat the problem locally, Crouse Health in partnership with Eeast Syracuse Minoa Central School is hosting a free event for parents and students to address the growing issue. 

ESM High School Executive Principal Greg Avellino says that the risks of students vaping has become a growing issue in schools across the area.

“We are concerned about our students’ health and we are taking a really conscious effort to change some of the choices our students are making,” he adds.

Part of the problem with vaping is due to the devices themselves. Some devices, like Juuls, are made to look like USB ports that suggest they’re meant for a student’s education and not to vape. The other troubling aspect of each device is the amount of nicotine that’s inside. Most devices can hold as much nicotine as compared to a pack of cigarettes.

One of the ways ESM is working to combat the problem is through a computer based learning program to educate students on the dangers of vaping. The course is also an alternative for students who face suspension. Enrolling in the program gives them the opportunity to lessen their suspension time, Avellino says.

Wendy Fascia form Crouse Health says that vaping has serious repercussions that teens may not even consider when taking up the habit.

“Nicotine as we know, is highly addictive, but it also interferes with brain development and brains develop up until you’re 25 so if these are being used when they’re in middle school and high school, which they are, we’re interfering with the development of their brain, as well as interfering with attention and learning,” she adds.

She says that there are some differing chemicals between cigarettes and vapes, but there are still high health risks in vaping. Those risks are the reason for the partnership and an eagerness to educate students and parents across the area.

ESM in conjunction with Crouse Health is hosting a free Vaping Forum on Wednesday, November 20. The event will be held at the High School and is free and open to the public. Parents and students from across central New York are invited to attend. For more information and to register visit, Crouse.org/vaping.