Campbell County School District (CCSD) is currently seeing a large percentage drop in the number of students vaping, due to the addition of several programs specifically aimed to target the youth vaping epidemic. The programs, according to Campbell County Director of Student Support Services Kip Farnum, aim to educate the youth on the dangers of vaping, and how vaping-related offenses can be reported and are handled in the schools.
“All of this we’ve [Campbell County School District] done in the last 15 months has brought a 26% decrease in the first quarter of this year,” Farnum said.
Farnum spoke to the importance of CCSD health teachers emphasizing the dangers of vaping in classrooms and the weekly educational newsletter that goes out to health teachers, counselors, nurses, and administrators to assist them in curbing behavior.
The Safe-to-Tell Program is another resource that Farnum credited for the decline. The state-wide tip line allows students to report anything they feel they need to anonymously. The widest use for reporting thus far has been for vaping, according to Farnum. The second widest reported issue has been for suicidal ideation.
“[CCSD vaping numbers are] very unusual because nationwide the use of vaping is still on the upswing,” Farnum noted.
Students within the district who are caught vaping enter a one-week vaping awareness education program, known as the Star program with ties to Stanford University. It is an extended-day program that aims to get kids to think differently through five anti-vaping learning modules. In 2018, 211 CCSD students went through this program.
Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) issued a press release today urging state residents to avoid vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, and to be mindful of vaping-related issues in general.
Two cases of vaping-associated lung illness have been reported to WDH to date.
“We know there is a current epidemic of nicotine vaping among our youth and that problem is growing dramatically,” Governor Gordon said. “Vaping is not a safe choice for Wyoming’s youth.”
According to the 2018 Prevention Needs Assessment, 36% of Wyoming high school students, 10th and 12th graders, currently use e-cigarettes.
CCSD is currently working with the Campbell County Prevention Coalition and has future plans to do public service announcements to deter students from vaping Farnum said.