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Greetings and best wishes during this holiday season. I write today to share with you concerns I expressed to our student body regarding the proliferation of e-cigarette devices, often referred to as "vaping" or "juuling" in high schools across the country, including our own.
Just 7 years ago, e-cigarettes were relatively unknown; but today, teens are seeing them used in high school bathrooms and classrooms, at parties, and in social media. In 2017, just over 1 in 10 high school students currently used an e-cigarette; now it is 1 in 5. That's more than 3 million kids, and after several decades of decline, overall tobacco use is up, largely due to the rising popularity of e-cigarettes. Additionally, many teens do not view these products as harmful and some aren't aware that most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, highlighting the need for a targeted youth education effort about the dangers of teen use of e-cigarettes.
We are posting today's presentation to the student body along with an informational pamphlet on the Monson High School website. Please understand that in addition to our concerns about the health of our student body that possession or use of these age restricted products is a violation of school rules and subject to penalties up to and including suspension from school, athletics, and co-curricular activities
I encourage all of you to speak with your children about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Please also be aware that if your child is struggling with nicotine use or addiction, I encourage them to be proactive and seek assistance from our School Counseling, Health Services Departments, or their pediatrician. If they seek our assistance in this way, they need not fear disciplinary repercussions from either Monson High School or the MIAA.
William J. Metzger
Statistics used in this letter and today's presentation come from the Federal Food and Drug Administration