Lawrence school board to discuss ways to address student use of e-cigarettes

photo by: Mackenzie Clark/Journal-World File Photo

The Lawrence Board of Education meeting room at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive, is pictured in this file photo from Feb. 25, 2019.

The Lawrence school district will discuss ways to address student use of e-cigarettes during its next meeting.

In the school board’s agenda packet, the school district refers to the use of e-cigarettes, also known as “vaping,” by minors as an epidemic. The agenda also said the use of e-cigarettes can cause addiction and is harmful to the development of a child’s brain.

The board will receive a report that states as of 2017 one-third of Kansas high school students have reported trying e-cigarettes and one-tenth of Kansas students reported they “currently” use them. The report also shows dangerous side effects of e-cigarette use, including the development of asthma and reduced lung function as well as experiencing cuts and burns to the body from the device exploding.

According to the school board’s agenda, the presentation of the report will discuss the ways the school district educates students and parents about the issue and action steps the school district can take to help the Lawrence community deal with it.

E-cigarettes are a handheld devices that simulate smoking by producing vaporized liquid, which often includes nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes. Although some people have used the device as a cigarette substitute to avoid their harmful toxins, the use of e-cigarettes poses its own health risks.

Recently, three people have reportedly died because of the use of e-cigarettes, which led to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday calling on the end of their use, according to PBS News Hour. Additionally, as many as 450 people in 33 states have reported possible pulmonary disease after using e-cigarette devices, according to the report.

In other business, the board will receive a report from Ann Mah, the district four representative on the Kansas Board of Education.

Mah is expected to discuss topics related to updates in the Kansas State Department of Education. As of Friday, the agenda did not include any further information about Mah’s report.

The board meets at 6 p.m. at the school district’s administrative offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Full agendas can be found on the school district’s website, usd497.org.

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