Informational vaping forum at South Colonie High

January 09, 2019 11:36 PM

COLONIE - It's the latest epidemic targeting teens across the nation. 

"It's better than weed or drugs," Senior Sher Ahmad said.

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E-cigarettes known as vapes or "Juul" have shrunk in size and the amount of vapor they emit but increased their appeal by offering attractive different flavors.

"When I hit it, it felt good and I just kept doing it and it releases stress for me. It's a great way to relax," Ahmad said.

Ahmad has been vaping four years. 

"I own a Juul, a box mod, a myle, I even own a dab pen," Ahmad said.

Though it's banned, an average of 3 students a week are suspended for owning or using an e-cigarette at South Colonie High.

"Our son was suspended last year at the end of his Sophomore year for getting caught vaping in the bathroom," Kelly Remancus said.

Remancus noticed her son had a chronic cough that seemed suspicious. Once she learned he was vaping, she educated herself and him on the topic.

"I did have some literature on it and I caught him when we were on the way to a soccer tournament and I said I want you to read this and we're going to talk about this." 

Many e-cigarettes may contain as much nicotine as a pack of twenty actual cigarettes. 

"I don't think it really affects me at all. I've been doing it for a while and I haven't seen any effects to me," Ahmad said. 

"The tipping point is here, right now when Juul entered the market and made things so convenient and so flavorful. How can a 17-year-old think that that's bad," Christopher Robilotti said, South Colonie High School Executive Principal.

Parents are encouraged to check their kid's social media pages - are they or their friends posting pictures vaping, do they have bloodshot eyes, frequent nosebleeds, are they thirstier than normal, or more irritable.

"If your child's room smells like vanilla or fruity pebble's or glazed donuts and it should smell like a sweaty gym, they've probably got something going on, especially if they're not burning candles," Robilotti said

Parents are encouraged to learn terminology and if you suspect your child is vaping, educate them on what it's doing to their health.

Schalmont Central School District is also having a vaping forum on January 15th at the Middle School from 7:00pm-8:00pm.  


Karen Tararache

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