New State Law Cracking Down on Vaping
In June, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 114 into law, marking a significant response to the growing concern surrounding e-cigarettes and vaping among our youth. This law specifies that any student found in possession of vaping-related items will be in violation of our Student Code of Conduct, resulting in a mandatory placement in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Placement (DAEP).
How This Might Impact Your Student
It's essential for parents to understand how this new law might affect their students. Even if your child possesses an e-cigarette without anything inside it, or any vaping-related component, part, or accessory on school grounds or at a school-related event, they could face a mandatory placement at a disciplinary alternative education placement (DAEP) for a first-time e-cigarette offense. Please be aware that students assume responsibility for any items knowingly within their possession, regardless of ownership.
During their time at the DAEP, students are not permitted to participate in school activities. Moreover, they may face removal from specific student clubs or organizations, depending on the rules and regulations of each organization. Additionally, students with DAEP placements do not qualify for final exam exemptions for that school year.
Parent/Guardian's Next Steps
As a parent or guardian, it's crucial to take proactive steps to ensure your student is informed about this new law. Here's what you can do:
- Have an open conversation with your student about the legislation.
- Encourage your student to be vigilant about the contents of their backpack, vehicle, and personal belongings.
- Remind your student not to allow friends to store prohibited items in their belongings or hold such items on behalf of others.
- Discuss the adverse health effects of vaping with your student.
5 Tips To Help Teens Avoid Nicotine
Teens may find that they're more tempted to vape or smoke during the holidays. Below are some tips you can share with teens to help them live and stay nicotine-free:
- Focus on health. Help teens use their holiday break to focus on eating well, getting exercise, and spending time with people who support them and their goals.
- Expect challenges and be prepared. Stress, anxiety, and even boredom may create the urge to vape. Teens can learn their vaping triggers, and be ready to fight the craving.
- Manage stress in a healthy way. Teens may want to reach for a vape or a cigarette when they feel stressed or anxious. However, they should know that this will not actually relieve stress and can make the stress they already feel worse. Staying calm by pausing and breathing deeply when feeling challenged may help some teens. Going for a hike outside or reaching out to a supportive friend or family member to talk may help, too. Teens can learn to manage stress in tough moments.
- Keep trying. If teens slip and vape, urge them to keep working on living nicotine-free. Thinking about what caused the urge to vape may help prevent the next slip. If teens are worried that they've become addicted, it will help to learn the signs of vaping addiction and find out how to get help.
- Learn more about staying nicotine-free. Check out the materials for students to learn the facts about vaping, and real-life stories to help teens understand the dangers of vaping nicotine. Visit Smokefree Teen, a website with information, tips, and resources to avoid nicotine and tobacco. The site includes sections called "Quit Vaping" and "Become Smokefree."
5 Tips For Adults To Help Teens Stay Nicotine-Free
Adults can also play a role in helping teens stay nicotine-free over the holidays—and all year long.
- Get the facts about vaping, and then share what you learn with teens. Check out the Print & Download section of the resource center for fact sheets about youth vaping, videos with pediatricians, and other resources to help you learn how to start and revisit an open conversation with teens.
- Learn how to identify vapes and "stealth" e-cigarettes.Teens may use vapes that look like other objects, such as smart watches. Or they may use disposable vapes. Find out how to spot these devices.
- Know the symptoms of nicotine addiction. Common signs of vaping addiction include an inability to stop vaping, or feeling anxious or irritable due to cravings when not vaping. These may signal that a teen needs help.
- Model healthy habits. Create tobacco-free environments. If you need help quitting, visit smokefree.gov.
- Be patient and understanding. Teens who use nicotine need help from caring adults. Be open to their questions about vaping, and visit FDA's Tobacco Education Resource Library to find up-to-date resources for you to share with teens as you continue the conversation.
Informative Resources for Parents and Students
We understand that addressing the issue of vaping requires access to reliable information. Here are some resources to help you navigate this conversation: