TRAVERSE CITY – A northern Michigan health department is distributing materials to local schools to help middle school and high school students quit vaping.
Northwestern Michigan Department of Health distributes “stop vape kits” and vape disposal boxes to 17 school health programs in the four counties of the Department of Health – Antrim, Charlevoix , Emmet and Otsego. The materials are intended to help young people quit vaping and other nicotine products and to promote an end to the vaping epidemic among middle and high school students.
The northern Michigan regional entity, which manages Medicaid funding for behavioral health and substance use disorder services in the region, funded the Vape Quit Kits and Vape Disposal Boxes.
âThe purpose of this initiative is to help students quit vaping and maintain a healthy lifestyle,â said Nichole Flickema, Substance Abuse Free Environment (SAFE) project coordinator in northern Michigan with HDNM, in a press release.
Students who tell health care staff that they want to quit vaping may receive quit-vaping kits, which contain “tools to help them with the quitting process,” such as chewing gum and a sensory toy, according to a press release from HDNM. Kits also include a business card from My Life, My Quit, a free and confidential program that offers help to teens looking to quit smoking, vaping or other nicotine products.
Vape disposal boxes are locked mailboxes where students interested in quitting can dump their vapes or school staff can dispose of confiscated vapes. Members of the Health Department‘s Substance Use Prevention (SUP) team will properly collect and dispose of the vapes from each clinic’s disposal box through the hazardous waste collection.
“Electronic cigarettes and vapes, including rechargeable batteries and cartridges and vials containing e-liquids (liquid nicotine mixtures), can pose a threat to human health and the environment if not disposed of. correctly, âFlickema said.
According to the 2021 CDC and FDA National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), more than 2 million middle school and high school students use e-cigarette products in 2021. Almost 85 percent of young vape users use flavored products, and about one in four uses e-cigarettes daily, according to the NYTS.
In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer instituted an emergency rule banning flavored vape products in 2019, but its ban has been rendered unenforceable by state courts. In 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officially pulled out of the fight to enforce the ban in search of alternative legislation to tackle the vaping epidemic in Michigan.
Vaping in schools is an issue that local school districts have attempted to address in recent years. In 2018, public schools in the Traverse City area were loaned free vape detectors by the manufacturer as part of a three-month pilot program to install bathrooms and changing rooms at Central High and West High Schools. Senior High.
After the pilot program, the vape detectors were returned to the manufacturer, so TCAPS did not end up purchasing them. But on November 8, the TCAPS board of directors voted unanimously to join an ongoing class action lawsuit alleging that JUUL Labs, Inc., Altria and other vaping manufacturers intentionally marketed their products to children.
According to the memorandum given to the TCAPS School Board by Superintendent John VanWagoner, two other schools in the Northwestern Education Services Middle School District and 79 schools in Michigan have joined in the lawsuit.
Schools that receive Vape Quit Kits and Vape Disposal Boxes are:
- Vanderbilt area schools
- Johannesburg-Lewiston High School
- St. Mary’s Gaylord High School
- Petoskey High School
- Pellston Hornet Health Center
- Gaylord Blue Devil Wellness Center
- Alanson Wellness Program
- Harbor Springs Ram Wellness Program
- Mancelone Ironmen Health Center
- Crooked Tree High School
- Ellsworth College
- Boyne City Rambler Wellness Program
- Central Lake Trojans Wellness Program
- Charlevoix Rayder wellness program
- Eastern Jordan Wellness Center
- Falls Care Center – Boyne Falls
- Concord Petoskey Academy