By Shaundor Chillingworth
February 11, 2020
The epidemic of youth vaping has caused ripple effects nationwide as vaping related deaths and revealing studies about the harmful effects of vaping come to light. These effects have spurred new actions which take away the primary way vaping companies target teens.
At the beginning of the year, the FDA announced new regulatory actions which prohibit the use of flavors in these products. Companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) risk FDA enforcement actions.
Locally, lawmakers are looking at efforts to go even further than the feds, in part to address vaping rates that rise well beyond the national average, in some areas almost three times as high.
Kamehameha Schools takes the issues around vaping and how our ʻōpio are being targeted seriously. As such, vaping has been elevated from a level 3 to a level 4 infraction in our Appropriate Conduct guidelines, heightening how these actions are monitored and further discouraging any student from violating these guidelines. Handbooks have been adjusted to reflect this new change. See your child’s handbook on each kula’s page for more information.
Our hope is that through strengthening resistance skills and educating haumāna around the serious dangers of vaping, they’ll be able to avoid negative influences and practice healthy behaviors.
Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi is committed to working continually to improve student safety and well-being so students feel confident, secure and comfortable moving within our Kamehameha kauhale. The pilina we have with you as makua is so critical and we rely on your partnership to do so. If your haumāna is struggling with an issue like vaping, support will be provided. We encourage you or your child to come forward as soon as possible and talk with their poʻo kumu, their counselor or our behavioral health specialists so we can kākoʻo your ʻohana.
We have also compiled a number of resources to help families remain up to date on this and other important topics and how you can intervene directly and get assistance outside of our kula.