In 2022, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that 14.1%, or 2.14 million, high school students use e-cigarettes, or nicotine vapes. Youth vaping has been linked with several mental health symptoms, including depression, caused by harmful substances such as cancer-causing chemicals. At CNE High School, one of the most common reasons for suspension is students getting caught with a nicotine vape on campus.
“Up to this point, any time a student is caught with a nicotine vape they get suspended,” says TJ Glassmeyer, Principal. “However, suspension isn’t solving our problem, as a lot of students are addicted – the suspension ultimately doesn’t help them, as they need to break the addiction.”
This is why CNE High School has partnered with Mercy Health to try a different approach to student vaping than suspension, in a new Vaping Initiative. This voluntary initiative will allow students to hold their suspension if they agree to complete a 6-week vaping program. This program is twice a week after school and not only teaches students about the dangers of vaping, but has them complete a health and wellness program. If the student completes the program, they will not be suspended.
“This program recognizes kids are addicted to vapes; we need to get them off this addiction and give them the tools to fight it, while educating about its impact,” adds Principal Glassmeyer.
This initiative was approved by the Board of Education in December and is aiming to be an option for students caught with nicotine vapes in March.