Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Webinar focuses on reversing the vaping epidemic in Iowa schools

(Radio Iowa) - The Iowa chapter of the American Heart Association is hosting a live webinar this Wednesday afternoon to discuss the vaping epidemic in Iowa's schools and efforts to make all schools tobacco- and vape-free. Wesley Franklin, the association's community impact director, says they'll offer an in-depth look at the "alarming" trends in youth tobacco use. All are welcome to attend.

"We're looking at school officials, school directors, administrators and educators, who will be our main audience," Franklin says. "Of course, we'll have some parents who are passionate about reducing or eliminating vaping and tobacco in schools."

Virtually all Iowa schools are required to be tobacco-free and smoke-free, but vaping doesn't involve tobacco or smoke -- it's a chemical vapor -- so in some schools, vaping is still permitted as the rules are written.

"There is still a discrepancy about how is vaping not part of it," Franklin says, "and a lot of our school officials are not updating their tobacco policies to make sure that vaping products and all of those elements of vaping are updated within their policy."

Recent polls find about one in four Iowa high schoolers say they vape daily. The workshop is free and starts at noon. You can register here.

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