As the number of local students who vape soars, Fairfax County Public Schools doubling down on how to decrease the use of e-cigarettes.
In September, Fairfax County Public Schools pursued more stringent measures if a student was caught vaping on campus. Additionally, the school board also classified vaping as a prohibited activity in the school system’s student rights and responsibilities handbook last year.
Lucy Caldwell, the school system’s communication director, said that FCPS also works with the Fairfax County Health Department to develop a toolkit for students to provide educational information about the health impacts of e-cigarettes.
Stemming the rise of e-cigarettes — which some see as a safe alternative to smoking — is a nationwide challenge. The number of youth who are e-cigarette users jumped by 1.5 million between 2017 and 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No change was found in the use of other tobacco products during this time.
A recent survey administered by FCPS found that one in five students vaped recently.
South Lakes High School held four parent sessions through the Parent Teacher Student Administration or administration-sponsored meetings to help parents partner with the school on addressing this issue, according to SLHS Principal Kim Retzer.
The school also has a substance abuse prevention specialization who provides support for students and resources for parents, Retzer told Reston Now.
“South Lakes deals with students vaping as do other high schools in the area,” she said.
At Herndon High School, Principal Liz Noto says that the school is working with FCPS’s Student Safety and Wellness Office to educate the student body about the issue. Like other schools, HHS also finds ways for students seeking to quit vaping.
Photo via Unsplash/Tbel Abuseridze
The huge drugstore chain says it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1 as it continues to focus on health care. CVS and other major drugstore chains have been adding clinics to their stores for several years. Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations and basic services.
CVS CEO Larry Merlo says the company decided it can no longer sell cigarettes at places where it also provides health care.
“The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” Merlo said in a statement.
The move will cost the company about $2 billion in annual revenue, the Associated Press reports. However, CVS executives said they expect it to also help the health care business grow.
CVS has more than 7,000 locations, including two in Reston — one at South Lakes Village Center and one at Plaza America. A third will soon open on the ground floor of The Avant apartments at Reston Town Center.
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Photo of CVS store with a Minute Clinic courtesy of CVS.