Quincy Public Schools has a new partner in helping to educate Quincy’s high-school students about the dangers of vaping.
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton recently provided a $15,000, three-year grant to the school department to start a comprehensive vaping education and prevention program in the City’s two high schools.
According to Maura Papile, senior director of student support services for the schools, the grant will be used to implement a vaping education curriculum in all 10th grade classrooms in the school system. It will also be used to provide two parent education nights and to launch a “Healthy Decisions” intervention group for students who are caught vaping on school grounds or are referred to the program.
“Vaping is a growing concern in schools across the country, and there is a need for educating adolescents about the hidden dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping,” explained Ms. Papile. “This grant from BID-Milton will allow us to address this problem in the City’s schools and educate students and parents to the facts about vaping in a comprehensive manner.”
The percentage of high school seniors who vape or use e-cigarettes nationally has risen dramatically during the last two years from 9 to 37%. Although not widely understood by the public, e-cigarettes (vaping) contains nicotine, can become addictive and increases the potential for heart or lung damage. Some medical studies have also concluded that vaping can harm the development of adolescents’ brains.
“One of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton’s core missions is to promote health and wellness in our community,” said Richard Fernandez, president of the hospital. “Adolescent vaping is a growing public health problem, and we believe this grant will make a positive difference to the health and well-being of Quincy students.”
Added Quincy Public School Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro, EdD,: “In the Quincy Public Schools, we emphasize education and information so students can make the right decisions. This grant will go towards providing accurate information about vaping to our students so they can know the facts and make informed decisions. We are very appreciate of this grant from BID-Milton.”
State Senator John F. Keenan, D-Quincy, who has been active on the issue of vaping in the State House, was present during the brief ceremony in which Mr. Fernandez presented Dr. DeCristofaro with a check to support the first year of the program.
“The false advertising by e-cigarette makers and the targeted marketing of a product that can cause harm to teenagers is deeply concerning,” said Senator Keenan. “We are making progress, but more needs to be done to educate teens about the dangers of vaping. This grant from BID-Milton to the Quincy Public Schools is a big step in the right direction.”