POINT PLEASANT – The borough school district recently received a $7,000 grant provided by Hackensack Meridian Health’s Take Vape Away campaign.
Point Pleasant was the first community to receive the grant. A check presentation was held at the borough’s high school which was followed by a panel discussion about youth vaping use.
The community forum/panel discussion led by medical experts, school district leaders and educators warned parents and students about the perils of e-cigarettes.
Borough School District Superintendent Vincent Smith headed the community forum and was joined by panel moderator and Chief Hospital Executive of Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center Regina Foley.
The panel discussion also included a presentation by the school’s Youth Dart Coalition and panelists Dr. Gustavo E. DeLaLuz, of Shore Pulmonary Associates, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Jessica Wood, of Point Pediatrics, Dr. Eric C. Alcera, of Hackensack Meridian Medical Group, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Nicole Hankins of the high school’s Substance Abuse Council (SAC), Abby Thompson, of the Dart Coalition/Institute for Prevention and Recovery and Borough Police Detective Dave Scalabrini.
More than 1,600 patients have been treated for lung injuries associated with vaping across the U.S. and 34 have died, including a New Jersey woman and two others in the Tri-State area, according to the CDC.
Foley said, “the number of adolescents has grown exponentially and today more than one in four high school students report using e-cigarettes, which is a dramatic increase in just one year.”
“We are grateful for the support from Hackensack Meridian Health to help prevent students of the Point Pleasant Borough from starting to vape and assist those already using e-cigarettes to overcome their nicotine addiction,” said Smith.
Smith added, “this
grant comes at the perfect time to build upon our local efforts already in
place to address the health effects that come along with e-cigarette use.”
“As a father and health care executive, I am alarmed at the vaping epidemic especially when it comes to young people and I am pleased that Hackensack Meridian Health is taking the lead against youth vaping,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.
Experts are still uncertain what is causing the serious lung injuries, but regulators and lawmakers are proposing banning several products.
The FDA will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco. For more information visit takevapeaway.com