The Food and Drug Administration and partner Scholastic have expanded vaping education material to middle schools.
This move came after a recent survey showed more than 5 million middle and high schoolers are e-cigarette users. The data found 10.5% of middle school students are e-cigarette users, which means about 1.2 million middle schoolers nationwide have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. FDA data showed that number has doubled since 2018, when 4.9% of middle schoolers reported using e-cigarettes.
The vaping education lesson plans and activities for high schoolers were also adapted to make them suitable for younger students.
One lesson includes an activity in which students evaluate e-cigarette marketing messages, like why they use images of candy, bright colors or influencers to reach teens and how e-cigarette ads are misleading. Students then create their own ads to tell teens the harms of vaping.
Another lesson is asking students to collect data on e-cigarettes by surveying their peers and analyzing and presenting that information. Teachers and students then read from the FDA’s vaping facts and misconceptions infographic to dispel incorrect information that may have surfaced from the student surveys.
There are also resources like a take-home guide for parents about how to talk about the risks of vaping and articles for students to read about the dangers of vaping.
The FDA is planning to send these vaping-related resources to more than 1 million educators after its research suggested that students are less likely to vape when their teachers talk about the risks and schools enforce anti-vaping policies.
The FDA surveyed more than 19,000 students in grades 6-12 from February 15, 2019, to May 24, 2019.