Fruita, Colo. -
The state of Colorado has one of the highest teen vaping rates in the country. In fact, a recent Colorado government study suggests 27% of minors regularly use the devices. A survey from Mesa County Public Health shows 48% of D-51 students have tried vaping at some point.
This year, 5,100 Coloradans will die from smoking and smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths. Now, e-cigarettes or, vaping, is an alternative but, is it a safe one? Fruita Monument High School student council member, Luke Anderson says, "A lot of the reactions with the chemicals with coils that they later get breathed in can form formaldeyde and formaldehyde is obviously used as a preservation agent and it's not good in your lungs."
In Fruita Monument High School, students are partnered with administration to take part in an anti-vaping pledge. Vice Principal, Newt Klusmire, says, "First semester we saw an uptick in students vaping in bathrooms, in the parking lots, so, we really wanted to combat that."
FMHS's solution starts with a student signature and ends with a village of support. Klusmire also says,"We've also partnered with Mesa Health to get information out to parents and this is our last hoorah where we're just asking students to be vape free."The "Proud to be Vape Free" pledge started at 8:50 this morning with two 45 minute signing sessions. After the first session, 200 signatures were already on the banner.
The proud to be vape free banner is a symbol of trust, a promise, and a future message. "We're going to hang it in our new entrance just so it's one of the first things students see when they walk in, especially, incoming students need to know we don't tolerate vaping, and we don't want students to be vaping, and the majority of our students don't vape and pledge to be vape free", says Klusmire.
FMHS has one last message to inspire change. Student council member, Eric Hill, says, "So long as one person is impacted, one person makes the change, I think it'll be worth it."