Marcellus School District hosting forum to tackle vaping issues

Local News

MARCELLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Marcellus School District held a forum Monday night to educate parents on the dangers of vaping and e-cigarette use.

Ahead of the event, NewsChannel 9’s Julia LeBlanc spoke with the principal of the high school to see how prevalent the issue of vaping really is.

“The reasons that they’re picking these up are multiple and the reasons they can’t put them down is one. they just, they’re addicted to this,” said John Durkee, The Principal of Marcellus Senior High School.

These devices, Durkee says, are taking over teen’s lives. It’s to the point where Marcellus high schoolers are coming to his office in the middle of the day experiencing nicotine withdrawal because they’re not allowed to vape in school.

Despite the rules, students are getting caught, if someone’s able to spot them.

“Today’s day and age, our kids are very very sophisticated, they’re very knowledgeable. And I trust them to make good decisions. The problem I think is they don’t have the information to make a good decision,” Durkee said.

That’s why the district is rallying up a team of doctors and experts in prevention to address the dangers of vaping through a community forum Monday night. The hope is to educate students and their parents, knocking down the misconception that vaping is safer than smoking.

“That, unfortunately, is not true. There are numerous substances contained in the vaping products that are harmful,” said Dr. Jana Shaw, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Reports show these pods have more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes. Smoking them can lead to addiction, lung damage, even brain damage.

“We want them to know that what they’re doing is untested, is unstudied, and is known to be a ticking time bomb. And until there is evidence out there to say that it’s good for you, don’t let the default be that it’s good for you,” Durkee said.

At the forum on Monday night, students and parents heard from Giovanni Marino, who ended up in the intensive care unit with shattered glass lung syndrome after vaping too much.

There was also guest speakers from SUNY Upstate and simulations where parents could search a mock student’s bedroom for drugs and alcohol.

Monday’s forum came after a State Supreme Court judge blocked the proposal to ban flavored vaping products in New York State.

More from NewsChannel 9:

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

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