January 20, 2016
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Warns Sacramento High School Students About the Health Risks of E-Cigarette Use
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson met with students at McClatchy High School today to warn about the health risks of "vaping" with e-cigarettes.
Torlakson spoke with more than 50 juniors and seniors in an event organized by the American Lung Association and California Medical Association.
"I have supported tobacco prevention for a long time," Torlakson said. "Just like smoking, vaping is unsafe, unhealthy, and dangerous. Your health is too important to risk it by vaping."
"E-cigarettes emit an aerosol, which is a suspension of particles within a gas.
That can cause irritation and all sorts of respiratory problems. I was a science teacher, and I can tell you that's bad for your lungs. Don't vape."
E-cigarette use has been rising among youth. In 2014, the Monitoring the Future survey, which tracks substance abuse trends among over 40,000 youth nationally, found that the use of e-cigarettes among teens surpassed traditional cigarettes.
More than twice as many eighth and tenth graders reported using e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes. Among twelfth graders, 17 percent reported currently using e‐cigarettes vs. 14 percent using traditional cigarettes.
The California Department of Education promotes tobacco-free schools through the Tobacco Use Prevention Education Program (TUPE). CDE issued $9.5 million in grants last year to promote tobacco-free schools in grades 6-12.
The Sacramento County Office of Education received about $115,000 last year to help county schools stay tobacco-free. The Department recommends including e-cigarette bans in tobacco-free school policies.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100