Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Department of Public Health are teaming up to recognize Red Ribbon Week and encourage students to lead healthy, drug-free lives. Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31, 2018.
Substance use has a huge impact on students of all ages. It interferes with healthy growth and development of the brain, academic performance, and ultimately, lifelong success. Substances that teens abuse include alcohol, inhalants, opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, and nicotine.
“It is important that we help educate students about the dangers of drug use,” said public school superintendent Richard Woods. “We want to guide students towards a healthy future for their ultimate success and to reach their highest potential. “
Nicotine, delivered through cigarettes or electronic nicotine devices (ENDS) such as electronic cigarettes or vape pens, causes immediate and long-term damage.
“Young people are extremely sensitive to nicotine and the younger they are when they start using tobacco or electronic cigarettes, the more likely they are to develop nicotine addiction and start a life of chronic illness,” said J. Patrick O’Neal. , MD, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “This makes prevention in Georgia schools so critical right now. “
School districts can get help from local health departments to implement the , which includes ENDS.
“Electronic cigarettes put an entire generation at risk of nicotine addiction,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of the Truth Initiative. “Unfortunately, young people have misconceptions about e-cigarettes and, according to our research, 63% of young e-cigarette users were unaware that the product still contains nicotine. Young people who use e-cigarettes are more than four times more likely to become cigarette smokers, heightening the urgency of FDA regulation and public education regarding the risks of cigarette use electronics for young people.
Learn more about the dangers of electronic cigarettes.