Arlington Public Schools, like schools across the country, is working to address the growing student health threat associated with increased use of e-cigarettes and vaping, also known as “JUULING” (pronounced Jeweling). Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new warning about the dangers of vaping, which has now been linked to hundreds of cases of severe lung illnesses and multiple deaths nationwide.
As educators and public health practitioners, APS and the Arlington County School Health Bureau are committed to continuous action on prevention and education for APS students, and we echo the CDC’s call to stop using e-cigarettes. We need your help as we continue to educate students about the dangers of vaping devices and the recent surge in vaping-related illnesses, and to keep them healthy and safe.
Combatting vaping in our schools is a community-wide effort. In APS, we continue to educate our students and families in partnership with Arlington County School Health, the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (ACPYF), the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) and our School Resource Officers. In recent years, counselors and staff have incorporated lessons on the dangers of vaping in our 6th through 10th grade health classes, held informational events for parents, and participated in forums and events hosted in partnership with the ACPD. Additionally, the APS No Tobacco School Board Policy J-6.3.8 prohibits students in all grades from the smoking or use of tobacco products, including electronic smoking products, on school grounds or property at any time.
If your child is vaping, and they need support to quit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the substance abuse counselor at your child’s school. School substance abuse counselors are listed on our website and are available in all APS secondary schools to support you and your student. APS also offers an Second Chance early-intervention program designed to help students in the early stages of vaping, drug or alcohol use.
Working together, we can empower all students to make healthy, safe choices. For parents interested in learning more, there are several resources available:
- What You Need to Know and How to Talk with Your Kids About Vaping
- CDC Resources: E-Cigarettes: Talk to Youth about Risks
- What’s Up APS Podcast on Substance Abuse and Vaping
- Video on Stash Awareness and What to Look For