Taking Steps to Extinguish the Use of ENDS

Taking Steps to Extinguish the Use of ENDS photo
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In partnership with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Harborfields High School held a school-wide assembly on the misconceptions and the health hazards of vaping and electronic cigarettes on Feb. 5.

Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer introduced Senior Public Health Educator Bonnie Anderson, who presented the students and administration in attendance with accurate and scientific facts addressing the use of these electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Ms. Anderson addressed many topics regarding the use of ENDS, including the addictive nature of e-cigarettes, the long and short-term dangers of vaping, how the product is marketed in fruit and candy flavors designed to be attractive to adolescents, and how this unregulated product may contain inconsistent levels of nicotine and other dangerous chemicals.

“Just because it looks harmless, and you’re told that it’s harmless, doesn’t mean it is,” she told the students.

In addition, Ms. Anderson explained that there have been no studies conducted on the effects of ENDS on those who use them, because it has not been on the market long enough to study.

“Do you think that means the tobacco industry cares about your health?” Ms. Anderson asked her audience, to which they responded with a resounding “no.”

Students left the assembly with an understanding that the use of ENDS is a major public health concern, and were challenged to change the trend of ENDS use among their peers and in their school.

“We pride ourselves in committing to the care of our students,” said high school principal Tim Russo, “and we will never stop exploring avenues in which to ensure their safety and well-being.”