PERRY COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Schools Against Vaping is helping educators stop the use of electronic cigarettes by teens.
“We didn’t see this one coming, but we certainly know what’s in front of us now, and shame on us if we don’t do something about it,” says Executive Director Michael Marks.
Marks shares what he’s been hearing over the years and how vaping is impacting children in schools.
“I hear stories about children falling out in football practice with no prior medical records, nobody knows why,” Marks said. “But when you ask the kids, and they are always so much smarter than we are. They’ll say, ‘Oh, he vapes or she vapes.’”
Another concern is the increased chances of contracting COVID-19 for teens who vape.
“If you listen to the survey recently put out by Stanford University, what we know is that teenagers who vape are five times more likely to contract COVID-19, and if they have vaped in the last 30 days, the risk factor goes to seven times as likely,” Marks said.
Marks says he has been in this battle before. Now, he’s fighting it this time for the children in our communities.
“I had an opportunity to serve on then-Attorney General Mike Moore’s tobacco advisory council,” Marks said. “And I watched him dismantle the national tobacco industry, and he made them pay for what they did to student health. This fight is no different. It’s just prolific that I find myself at that juncture again.”
The Perry Central School District is one of several school districts partnering with the organization to spread a healthy message.
Other districts include Laurel, Richton and North Forrest.
If you would like to know more information on the organization, you can visit schoolsagainstvaping.org.