INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Two state agencies are combining efforts to provide training to educators and the public to learn more about what’s considered a national epidemic: vaping.
The Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana State Department of Health have launched Indiana’s first-ever joint Vape Education and Prevention Trainings.
The training will happen in Indianapolis, Jeffersonville and Mishawaka. The public session in Indianapolis will be March 5.
“Vaping among students today critically jeopardizes their health, wellbeing, and future. We must provide schools resources and support to address this epidemic, and as a state leader I am proud to champion these efforts,” said State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick.
In 2019, McCormick made the public health epidemic of student vaping a high priority for her administration.
The IDOE created the Department’s first health and wellness prevention specialist. The job is to provide schools a subject matter expert in the field of prevention and support.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of January 21, there have been 60 deaths attributed to vaping in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Five of those deaths have occurred in Indiana.
“The number of Indiana youth who vape has increased more than 350 percent since 2012, which means thousands of young people are now becoming addicted to nicotine,” said Dr. Kim Box, Indiana’s health commissioner.
IDOE and ISDH have developed a series of regional training sessions that will take place in February and March. The agencies say individual sessions for educators will be made available.
The courses will provide data on youth vaping, address current vaping devices, and offer discussions on policies schools can institute to combat on-campus vaping.
“By helping to educate parents, teachers and students about the risks of vaping, we can help prevent the next generation of smokers from developing and ensure that every Hoosier has the information needed to live the healthiest life possible,” said Box.