SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Health issues and the rising number of deaths related to vaping are on people’s minds across KELOLAND and the country. Monday night the Sioux Falls School District is hosting a vaping town hall to talk with parents and students about the effects of vaping.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported over 800 lung injury cases tied to vaping across the country; these are either described as “confirmed and probable.” The CDC says there have been twelve deaths.
“805 was just as of last week and I’m sure within the next couple of weeks we’re going to see that go up even more. We just want to get ahead of it. We want our kids to know, to be informed of what the effects could be. And we want parents to be informed so they know what to look for,” Carly Uthe with the Sioux Falls School District said.
The school district has already banned vaping on school grounds, but Monday night’s town hall meeting was set to educate parents and students about the dangers.
“We know our students are hiding it in their long-sleeve shirts and sweatshirts and hoodies and doing it right in the classroom. We could put detectors in every room of our school building, which is 450 rooms. Does that make sense? No. We have to stop it by teaching people why it’s important not to do this,” Sioux Falls School Board member Cynthia Mickelson said.
An Avera Pulmonologist and the Washington High School principal are set to speak at the event. School counseling and nursing staffs will also be available to answer questions.
“It’s going to be a very judgment free zone so if we do have students that are vaping, we want to give them an opportunity to be able to talk with their parents or to talk with one of our counseling staff. And if they want to stop, we want to help,” Uthe said.
The school district is encouraging parents and students to attend the meeting together.
“We just really want them to understand what’s going on, the effects of that together,” Uthe said.
The town hall meeting will start at 6:30 Monday night at the Instructional Planning Center on 38th Street.