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Vaping seminar in Burbank to address student usage

Vaping seminar in Burbank to address student usage
Teenage vaping will be the center of discussion Wednesday evening as the Burbank Council PTA, Burbank Teachers Assn. and Burbank Unified host an information session in the library at Burbank High School. (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

Teenage vaping will be the center of discussion Wednesday evening as the Burbank Council PTA, Burbank Teachers Assn. and Burbank Unified School District host an information session in the library at Burbank High School.

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The nonprofit, nonpartisan clean-air organization called BREATHE California of Los Angeles County will give a presentation titled, “Clearing the air about vaping; safer does not mean safe.”

The event will run from roughly 7 to 8 p.m., with child care available. There will also be translation services in Spanish and Armenian as well as for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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The vaping seminar is one of two scheduled, with another slated for Nov. 27 at Luther Burbank Middle School, also from 7 to 8 p.m.

“The Centers for Disease Control has issued several statements indicating that they are seeing an increase in the use of E-cigarettes and vapes among middle schools and high schools across the country,” said Johanna Chase, Burbank Unified’s director of wellness.

“Burbank Unified recognizes how important it is to take a proactive approach to educate and inform,” she added.

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Some of the topics to be discussed will help “identify the ways in which teens are accessing E-cigarettes,” understanding “the major health concerns related to E-cigarette use” and realizing “what it means to ‘vape.’”

“I am so excited about this coming together because I really do feel that we need to be more informed about the impacts of vaping,” said Diana Abasta, president of the Burbank Teachers Assn., about the seminars during a school board meeting on Nov. 1.

E-cigarettes are any of several devices, some disposable and others rechargeable, that include pipes and cigars along with medium and large tank devices. Most are battery powered, have some way to heat up, can hold liquids and can be used for other products, such as marijuana.

The Centers for Disease Control do report that “E-cigarettes have the potential to benefit adult smokers who are not pregnant if used as a complete substitute for regular cigarettes and other smoked tobacco products.”

However, the CDC also states that “E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products.”

The main reason behind the health risk, according to the CDC, is that most E-cigarettes contain addictive nicotine, which can harm adolescent brain development.

“It is an increasing concern in our community about the lack of awareness of students and parents about the harms of vaping,” Burbank Unified Supt. Matt Hill said during the Nov. 1 board meeting.

“A lot of people see it as an alternative, a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, and it’s just the opposite,” he added.

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