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NYC High Schools Respond to Vaping

Photo Credit: Mashable

With the popularity of vaping, specifically “juuling,” growing amongst teenagers, schools in New York City have begun taking action, some going to extreme measures. Packer has responded by instituting a strong health curriculum that allows students to make more informed decisions. In addition to this more traditional response, rumors have been circulating that the locker room, a hot spot for student vaping, has been locked during non-usage hours. While some students think that this tactic to prevent students from vaping is ludicrous, some schools in New York City have taken even more radical actions.

Bronx High School of Science, for example, is a school that has recently come under fire for the newly instituted preventative measures they have taken. “Our school closed most of our bathrooms last week as an experiment to stop juuling,” said Bronx Science Junior, Doris Turkel. Although some have questioned the legality of this, according to the Department of Education, the school’s actions cannot be deemed criminal. This is because the code that mandates the number of bathrooms a school must have isn’t applicable to Bronx Science given how old the building is.

Doris went on to tell me that the only way to get students to stop vaping is to “educate kids on why they should stop.” Similarly to Doris, health teacher, Ms. Londay is a believer in the profound effect education can have. “Our 2016 survey results for 10th-grade students vaping in the last 30 days was four percent. That number, consistent with national trends, jumped to 45% in 2017.  Our most recent (2018) data shows more than a 50% drop in 30 day use– 22% of 10th graders reported vaping in the last 30 days,” said Ms. Londay.

While advocating for a stronger health curriculum, Ms. Londay notes that “for any public health campaign to be successful, it requires multiple modes of intervention.” Whether or not these forms of intervention should include measures as extreme as the one Bronx Science took is still highly contended. However, comfort can be found in the fact that schools in New York and across the country have begun taking action against the juuling epidemic.

This year is Porter Reyes’s first year at Packer and first year working for The Packer Prism. Although this is the first time working for Packer’s newspaper, prior at his elementary school, City and Country, he worked on another publication. In City and Country’s newspaper, Porter focused mainly on writing while in the Prism he takes an interest in creating short films.

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