Increasing Concern of E-cigarette Usage Among Minnesota Teens
According to the Startribune, on October 22, a 2022 investigation in Minnesota revealed that approximately 14% of high school seniors and 6% of eighth graders in the state had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Although this proportion has decreased compared to previous years, educators are concerned about the growing societal acceptance of e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine and THC among teenagers.
The Minneapolis Public School System has taken steps to address the issue of e-cigarette use by installing e-cigarette detectors and minimizing potential locations for usage. Additionally, assistance is being provided to the five schools with the highest reported rates of e-cigarette incidents last year. In order to meet the need for early intervention in schools regarding this issue, the government has approved a federal grant of $500,000.
On the other hand, the Minnesota Department of Health has also taken note of this issue and launched a campaign in April of this year called "Hey, NoMo" to combat e-cigarette use. The campaign includes a hotline and a website called "My Life, My Quit," as well as toolkits for schools to prevent e-cigarette use and assist with smoking cessation. Additionally, Robbinsdale Public Schools recently launched their own anti-e-cigarette movement following a sewage pipe blockage caused by discarded e-cigarettes by students in September.
A Minnesota high school student named Golden states that his classmates often start vaping e-cigarettes shortly after arriving at school. This is because they are seeking a way to alleviate mental stress and psychological health issues, which have become more severe since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As teenagers, our lives are filled with various things such as work, family life, studying, and sports activities, which can lead to overwhelming stress," said Gordon. "Therefore, we seek good or bad habits to alleviate stress...We do not always know how to deal with the consequences that arise from this, which is why we need the support of schools and the entire community."
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