Addressing the vaping epidemic: ESM and Crouse Health hosting an open forum

Local News

EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There are now two vaping-related deaths in New York State. And on Wednesday, the 20th, the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District and Crouse Health are teaming up to combat the crisis with a public forum.

Time and time again, teens and even younger children are caught vaping, and the epidemic is seen at ESM, too. School faculty are constantly finding kids vaping in the hallways, in the bathrooms, even in class.

“There was a time where it was, you know, probably on average one a day,” said Officer Brian Damon, an SRO for ESM Central High School with the Manlius Police Department.

That was at the height of the high school’s problem with vaping. But even now, after countless warnings, students at ESM are not taking the potentially deadly effects of e-cigarettes seriously.

“We can punish all we want, we can do discipline, we follow a code of conduct, but in reality, it’s the education piece that truly has been missing,” said Greg Avellino, Executive Principal at ESM Central High School.

That’s why ESM and Crouse have launched an online program for kids busted vaping, giving them an opportunity to take the course if they’re caught and lessen the punishment they would otherwise face. Taking it a step further, the district and Crouse are teaming up to host a forum about the epidemic, bringing parents and students in on the issue.

“The one big aspect is if we can educate the parents. And what are these products? Where are people who get really injured getting them from? What is inside them? How to have that conversation,” said Dr. Viren Kaul, practicing Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine at Crouse Health.

Dr. Kaul says kids tend to focus on the fun flavors they see on store shelves, overlooking the potentially harmful chemicals they’re putting into their bodies.

“I’m extremely concerned. Concerned, you know, for the kid’s health, for what they’re doing to their bodies that they may not know,” Avellino said.

Wednesday’s forum is open to all school districts, parents and kids. It’ll take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at ESM Central High School. Representatives from the district and Crouse will be speaking.

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JulialeblancNC9.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area