We hope that you and your ward(s) have settled in well for the academic year!
The wellbeing team would like to bring to your attention some recent news about vaping and e-cigarettes.
Public health officials in the US have reported that at least five people have died after using e-cigarettes and 450 possible cases of severe lung diseases are now under investigation.
These were healthy young people, in their teens and early 20s. Investigators from numerous states are working with the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration in an urgent effort to figure out what is going on.
It has also been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that patients typically experience coughing, chest pain or shortness of breath before their health deteriorates to the point they have needed to be hospitalized.
The American Medical Association has urged people to stop using electronic cigarettes of any sort until scientists have a better handle on the cause.
The US Food and Drug Administration has faced mounting pressure to curb a huge spike in teenage use of e-cigarettes, a trend that coincided with the rising popularity of Juul e-cigarettes.
Although these cases have been reported in the US, I would like to urge you to be vigilant with your ward(s). As teenage use of e-cigarettes in Ghana has risen dramatically. This has sparked concern from the Ghana Health Service; where they recently reported at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, in Cape Town, South Africa that Ghana will be putting a ban on e-cigarettes in the immediate future.
Please note that most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and no amount of nicotine is safe. Nicotine is very addictive and can harm children and teens’ developing brains. Using nicotine can cause problems with learning and attention and can lead to addiction. Even being around others who use e-cigarettes and breathing the cloud they exhale can expose youth to nicotine and chemicals that can be dangerous to their health.
What is JUUL?
JUUL is a brand of e-cigarette that is shaped like a USB flash drive. Like other e-cigarettes, JUUL is a battery-powered device that heats a nicotine-containing liquid to produce an aerosol that is inhaled. All JUUL e-cigarettes have a high level of nicotine.
What is Vaping?
Vaping, also known as JUULing, is becoming more popular with youth in middle school and high school. Vaping means using an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or another vaping device. Young people often believe that the liquid used in vaping only contains water and flavoring and are unaware that it contains nicotine.