Catholic board targets student vaping

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Officials with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board are hoping a new program will help reduce rates of student vaping.

Dubbed “Quash,” the initiative is being launched ahead of World No Tobacco Day May 31. It utilizes a cutting-edge mobile app to assist students with behavioural changes to steer them away from vaping and nicotine addiction.

The project, a collaborative effort between the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Lung Health Foundation, involving six provincial school boards, was developed with funding from Health Canada.

Based on science and input from youth, the app includes support from adult facilitators to empower youth to identify and overcome triggers, reward progress towards quitting, and ultimately help vapers regain control over addictive vaping behaviours by prioritizing health and well-being.

According to Lung Health Foundation (LHF) statistics, Canada has one of the highest vaping rates in the world with an estimated 750,000 people under 30 taking part in daily vaping.

The LHF calls this vaping addiction a “dangerously discreet” practice – something that may go unnoticed by parents and teachers.

In another study undertaken by the Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey, 69 per cent of the teens who vaped in the last month have never smoked. However, several other studies have found that young people who vape are much more likely to start smoking in the future, compared to youth who never vaped.

As vaping continues to become more mainstream, the LHF wants to underscore the urgent need for awareness and intervention to break the cycle, particularly during the developmental years of teens who vape.

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