With the use of e-cigarettes-or vaping-up 900 percent among middle and high school students from 2011-15, according to the surgeon general, Brainerd High School is working to increase parent awareness of not only vaping, but other health concerns among adolescents as well.
The school's new Warrior Wellness initiative, begun earlier this week, will provide bimonthly health tips for teenagers and high school parents.
With high school administrators becoming more and more aware of vaping among students, school nurse Aimee Jambor said Principal Andrea Rusk asked her to reach out to parents.
"It'll be different topics every other week," Jambor said. "We'll do one on summer fun tips, kind of whatever the issue is of the time we're in."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues tips for different events like Mental Health Awareness Month or Heart Health Awareness Month, Jambor said, which the school will be likely to follow with the Warrior Wellness tips.
"We'll probably gear them toward what's happening in the health care community," she said.
The first tip, emailed to high school parents Monday, March 26, explained vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor containing highly addictive nicotine, THC (an intoxicating chemical found in marijuana) or other substances. Vaping, the school tip stated, is illegal for those under 18, and increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic lung disease and lung cancer. The CDC states "e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless. It can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents."
The Warrior Wellness tip encourages parents to educate themselves on the issue and talk to their kids about the dangers.
With prom coming up in April, Jambor said the next tip will likely deal with drinking and driving. During the summer, Warrior Wellness tips may include information on conditions like sunburns and Lyme disease.