Milken, along with many other schools, has recently become
aware of the fast-growing trend of vaping or Juuling amongst some of our students.
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the issue, give you some
resources if you feel your child may be engaging in these behaviors, and also
to alert you to possible repercussions if your child is found to be in
possession of any of these products or devices.
Vaping is the act of inhaling a vapor produced by an electronic vaporizer or
e-cigarette. The vapor can contain nicotine and other substances which is
concerning. The liquids that are vaporized come in many different flavors and
might even smell fruity. For example, many of the flavors of these liquid
concentrates, or ‘vape juices’, are sweet and can be flavored to taste like
strawberry, fruit medley, cinnamon roll, or menthol.
The shapes, sizes and appearance of these devices can be very deceptive as some of them do not look like traditional cigarettes
but more closely resemble common electronics or electronic components, such as a
stylus, a writing utensil, or like one of the more popular devices, the Juul, a
USB flash drive (see attached photos) . Many of these devices are small
enough that they can be hidden in the palm of the hand or amongst other small
items in the student’s backpack. Although in California a person must be
over 21 years old to purchase these products, some students have been able to
make purchases on popular websites, such as Amazon, without any age verification.
We have a zero tolerance policy, as outlined in our student
parent handbook, which can be found on the MyMilken website, when it comes to a
student being in possession of tobacco (any vaping devices, juices, or other
related paraphernalia) at school or at a school related event or trip.
One of our biggest concerns with these products is that
students may be falling into the trap of nicotine addiction. As it has been illegal
for some time for tobacco companies to advertise cigarettes, many of the larger
tobacco producers have moved on to advertising vaporizers instead, and these advertisements
seem to be targeted towards younger people. Over the last semester we have been
working to inform our students of some of the dangers associated with vaping
and to let them know that if they feel like they are struggling or see a friend
who may be struggling, to let them know that our counselors and other support
staff are here to support them and to connect them to appropriate resources.
Earlier today we had a speaker from Beit T’Shuvah, an addiction treatment
center, come to Milken and speak to the twelfth grade class about the
challenges of addiction.
In conversations with some students, it appears that many them are not aware of the harmful effects of
vaping. Many don’t believe that using a vaporizer or a Juul may be
harmful or they do know that nicotine is addictive but do not believe that they
themselves may become addicted.
Below we have included links to resources which include
further information about the devices, and about their potential risks. Please
take a moment and look through these materials and
have a conversation with your teen. You can start your
conversation with your child by asking them about what they know about vaping,
and what their concerns may or may not be. Please feel free to reach out to our
counselors for any help or support that you or your child may need.
We thank you in advance for being a partner with us in your
child’s education. We need to work
together as new trends emerge that risk the health and
safety of our students.