Cloudy controversy surrounds vaping


Tuscola High School will address the rise in student vaping by incorporating the “Catch My Breath” nicotine vaping prevention program into their health and physical education curriculum.

Select educational materials will also be utilized as a form of intervention for those students caught with vaping and/or nicotine delivery materials on campus.

“The rise in vaping has become a serious health issue for our students,” Principal Todd Trantham said. “And disciplinary steps alone are not going to solve the problem.”

Trantham reached out to local and regional experts for answers, and eventually found the Catch My Breath program. “I’m confident this is a great next step.”

Tuscola administrators see this free educational program as a win for both students and staff. “Our teachers pour their hearts into teaching, and watching students turn down the path of nicotine addiction affects all of us,” said Assistant Principal Graham Haynes.

“We also know that people are getting sick and even dying from the side effects of constant vaping. Our approach has to be swift and proactive, not just punitive.”

Tratham added teachers are also finding vaping to be an increasing intrusion on their instruction time. “Teachers are already playing the role of instructor, mentor, and sometimes the trusted adult that students come to in times of personal crisis. If administrators can help keep nicotine addiction at bay, our students and teachers will benefit.”

The “Catch My Breat” program was developed through the University of Texas at Austin and is underwritten by CVS.

It is currently being used by other high schools in western counties including Jackson, Swain and Cherokee.

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