Sgt. Justin Hanley of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said e-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine. In addition to this, using nicotine at a young age may increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.

That’s why Hanley, along with other local Madison County officials, came together on Aug. 26 to make parents and students more aware about the dangers of vaping at an event at Madison County High School.

Superintendent of Madison County Schools Michael Williams said he saw an increase in the number of cases in vaping last year in Madison County High School and Middle School. Because of this, officials felt the need to inform students and parents of vaping dangers.

I would not say it’s a huge problem, but there is a concern,” Williams said. “We saw an increase in the number of vaping incident last year, and we want to limit any and all of that on campus.”

Williams said students do not look at e-cigs as being as dangerous as cigarettes. He said students look at vaping as a safe alternative, which he says it is not.

E-cigarettes entered the U.S. market more than five years ago. Vaping is the most commonly used product among U.S. youth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hanley also said nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the mid-20s.

Madison County officials said they hope students and their families can make better decisions about their health.

Alexandra Rios is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. 

 

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