School, community leaders educate teens on vaping

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FILE – In this Saturday, June 8, 2019 file photo, two women smoke cannabis vape pens at a party in Los Angeles. On Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than three-quarters of the 805 confirmed and probable illnesses from vaping involved THC, the ingredient that produces a high in marijuana. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV)– President Trump signed a bill that raised the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.

The new legislation has prompted local community and school leaders to take a different approach to educating the youth about about the dangers of vaping and tobacco use.

There were 306 vaping and tobacco violations in Vigo County schools during the 2018-2019 school year.

Vigo Co. School Corporation partnered with CATCH to implement a new program called, “Catch My Breath,” that aims to curb tobacco use among teens.

Bill Riley, Director of Communications for Vigo Co. Schools said, the program is a way of educating students from a health perspective.

“We believe that students are best when they’re in the classroom. But it also helps students think about the dangers of vaping and how to avoid vaping and quit vaping if they are experiencing an addiction,” Riley said.

It’s not only the school system working to steer teens away from using tobacco, but also community organizations like Chances and Services for Youth.

Brandon Halleck, COO for CASY said teaching teens to avoid risky behaviors will help them in the long term.

“The bigger comes down to if we can teach our kids resistance and refusal skills on how to say no to drugs, how to say no to tobacco, how to say no to alcohol and all those risky behaviors then that’s what we need to be doing here,” he said.

CASY offers a tobacco and cessation program that aims to reduce the negative impact of tobacco use in local communities.

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