Skip to main content

UISD Announces “United Against Vaping” Task Force

Posted Date: 05/10/2023

UISD Announces “United Against Vaping” Task Force

United Independent School District announced the formation of a new task force to combat vaping in schools and among youth in the community.

Leaders and community partners from all over Laredo and Webb County joined UISD administrators and board members at a press conference to announce the United Against Vaping Task Force. This initiative aims to educate the community about the health risks posed by vaping and the legal consequences students face if they are caught with e-cigarettes or vapes, especially those containing THC, the active component of marijuana.

The dangers of smoking tobacco are well documented. However, there is a common belief  that vaping is somehow safer when, in fact, it isn’t. Not only has nicotine been proven to have terrible health consequences for users, but vapes often contain metals and chemicals that can inflict irreversible damage to lung tissue and cause disease. Some vaping cartridges can contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Another fact is that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges. 

Vapes containing THC have also become increasingly popular. Many people seem to be under the assumption that THC vaping cartridges and wax, known as “dabs,” are a harmless way of getting “high” and that there can’t be any serious criminal penalties for having them. The truth is that possession of any quantity of THC vapes or wax is a felony that is subject to up to 10 years in prison.

The health risks of using THC vapes can be far worse. They can contain even more harmful chemicals and metals than what is found in nicotine vapes. In 2020, almost 3,000 hospitalizations were reported in the United States due to lung injury and disease caused by vapes, and almost 70 people under the age of 35 died. The vast majority of these deaths were the result of using THC vapes.

“I think this is something really important because it’s hitting the youth. Right now it’s hitting middle school. What’s next, elementary? We can’t let that happen,” said UISD Board Member and Webb County Sheriff Deputy Gilbert Aguilar, Jr. 

UISD Board Secretary and District 6 representative Michelle Molina said,  “We must continue to unite efforts just as we see in this room today: many agencies. That’s what it takes to help our children. We can’t just criminalize them, we have to educate. That’s what we’re here for.”

UISD Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Policies Rebecca Morales was pleased about the response from community leaders. “The support we are receiving is overwhelming, to be quite honest,” she said, “we know that we cannot sit back and allow this problem to take care of itself, and we can’t do this alone either. We need our community, we need our partners in education, our LISD counterparts, we need our law enforcement, our County Attorney, our Mayor; we need all of you.” “Thank you all for being here today. We really appreciate your support.”

Laredo mayor Dr. Victor Treviño spoke of his experience as a physician, and having seen many cases of lung and heart disease caused by vaping. “My message to young adults is to control what you put in your body, and share this information with your friends. I do not want to see young people in the hospital. Information is power; let’s empower everyone together,” said Mayor Dr. Victor Treviño

Superintendent of Schools David H. Gonzalez emphasized the importance of solving this growing problem through City and County wide partnerships. “This isn’t specifically about our children, this is about our community. This is a community effort to get together because this is a pandemic that’s going on nationwide; it’s not just Laredo. I’d like to recognize everyone for taking the time out of your schedule to be here. It means that we care about children. We care about our community,” he said.

UISD plans on utilizing their Communications and Instructional Television Department to produce public service announcements and instructional videos to spread awareness in the community. They plan to hold more meetings of the United Against Vaping Coalition in the coming months.


More Videos

  • UISD Game Show #2 May 18, 2023
         Click To Watch
  • United High School Live Graduation Ceremony 2023
         Click To Watch
  • L.B. Johnson High School Live Graduation Ceremony 2023
         Click To Watch
  • United South High School Live Graduation Ceremony 2023
         Click To Watch
  • J.B. Alexander High School Live Graduation Ceremony 2023
         Click To Watch