Local parents still concerned about teen vaping despite FDA ruling

Many have concerns that the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the sale of Juul e-cigarette products, currently under review by a federal appeals court, will
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The recent FDA ruling to ban Juul e-cigarettes has one local school district concerned that more needs to be done to address the problem with teen vaping.

Many have concerns that the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on the sale of Juul e-cigarette products, currently under review by a federal appeals court, will not stop kids from getting their hands on other vape products.

“I think the FDA is always about 6 years behind,” said Ananda Lennox, coordinator of a coalition at West Springfield High School that educates students about the dangers of vaping and other drugs.

Lennox told Western Mass News that Juul is an older product, and the real problem she is seeing right now are disposable vapes.

“There’s Hyde, Puff Bar, Diamond,” she said. “I mean, you name it. It feels like there is this glut of new products out there.”

Western Mass News spoke with a junior at the high school who told us that vaping is a problem.

“Usually, the most popular time people would go in the bathrooms to vape is lunch because it’s when you are with your friends, and other times in passing periods, too,” junior Olivia Minniear told us.

“The younger kids are vaping, too,” Lennox added. “It’s becoming more prevalent than it used to.”

Lennox said her coalition involves a group of students who reach out to fellow high schoolers, as well as middle school students, to warn them about the addictive qualities of vapes.

“We have youth sector reps with our coalition,” she told us. “We have three students now. We had four, but they graduated, but they spent several months with me learning the Catch My Breath curriculum which is provided for free by CVS and addresses vaping.”

One West Springfield mother told us parents have a responsibility in this.

“I mean, I would hope that the parents of the middle school kids wouldn’t allow their kids to smoke at such a young age,” Olivia’s mother, Brittney Minniear, said.

With vaping as an issue, parents are talking in West Springfield. We asked what more could be done to tackle the problem.

“Sit down, talk to your kids, really let them know that vaping is really addicting,” Lennox said. “If you had a problem with smoking in the past, be transparent about it.”