South Dakota’s Department of Health says there are two confirmed cases of illness linked to vaping in the state. The people are between the ages of 20 and 24.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Food and Drug Administration are looking at what the CDC’s website calls “a multistate outbreak of severe pulmonary disease” related to the use of electronic cigarette products. The CDC recommends people “consider not using e-cigarette products” while the investigation is happening.
Students in the Sioux Falls School District are not allowed to have or use any tobacco or “vapor products” on school property. Both Superintendent Brian Maher and Health Services Coordinator Molly Satter use the word “concern” to describe vaping in the Sioux Falls School District.
“We definitely have seen it amongst our students and know that that is a concern,” Satter said.
“Vaping’s certainly a concern in our schools and has been for a while now,” Maher said.
Maher says many kids do it.
“I don’t have anything other than anecdotal evidence for that, but I would tell you just from listening to teachers, listening to students, there’s not a doubt in my mind that we have a lot of kids vaping,” Maher said.
Satter says information has gone out, both to families as well as in schools.
“We have sent it out in a variety of different ways,” Satter said. “We have sent things out in newsletters to parents, and there has been information that’s been posted around the schools and provided in the schools for students to have access to.”
Maher and Satter each shared a message for parents.
“I would do the research that I can do as a parent to figure out what does vaping do for me,” Maher said.
“I say open the door and have a conversation with your child, whether they are doing it, whether you’re concerned they’re doing it- it’s just all about communication,” Satter said.
A district spokesperson tells KELOLAND News that a push is coming to have an increased focus on both vaping and mental health in the health curriculum. Right now, vaping is discussed in health classes, too.