Manatee County Schools providing prevention programs amid vaping concerns among students

Manatee County vaping prevention in schools

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Manatee County school officials are emphasizing education to prevent vaping.

They say there’s an increase among teens, grades 6th through 12th, who are vaping. However, they want to focus more on educating students about the consequences.

One way they’re trying to help students is through prevention programs. One of them is called “Safe.” The program initially helped students who were suspended from alcohol and drug usage. But school officials told us they’re currently working on a curriculum that includes vaping, as they say they’ve seen an increase of vaping in schools in the past two years.

Now they’re trying to raise awareness, and also providing help to parents.

“Parents and students can go on the Manatee County school district website, we have students making decision making, we have ‘Safe’ program where student’s first time involved with drugs take classes but that also talks to vaping. We’re currently developing our own curriculum,” said George Schrier, Director of Student Services for Manatee County Schools.

Health professionals also say vaping can lead to nicotine addiction, and it can affect the development of the brain among children and teens.

They say it can affect someone’s memory, learning abilities, attention, among other things.

“Children, teens and adolescents that use these electronic devices actually tend to move on and use traditionally smoked tobacco, which of course puts us in a whole different risk for cardiovascular disease, lung disease down the road,” said Amie Miller, Nurse Practitioner for Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Institute.

E-cigarettes will not be allowed in schools during the school year, and will be confiscated.

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