An “epidemic” of vaping by Minnesota students — that’s the topic of a statewide conference call that Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm have with teachers, school nurses and support staff this morning (9am). Ricker says she’s heard concerns almost every time she’s talked with school leaders: “Not only this is affecting students’ health, but it’s also affecting their learning environments. And as students and educators have also reported…, about how vaping is disrupting the school day.”
Results of a student survey released Wednesday show one in four Minnesota 11th-graders reported they used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days — a 54-percent increase over three years. And nearly twice as many 8th-graders as in 2016 — 11 percent — report that they’ve vaped.
Ricker says the objective in talking with teachers, school nurses and others is to “make sure that they have the tools and support they need from us, and offer them time to ask us questions, and give us feedback on the experiences they’re having in their school communities.” Ricker says they’ll also send the most up-to-date information to schools and families on health risks of vaping, plus host discussions with students.