Yesterday, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declared a Public Health Emergency due to the increasing numbers of severe lung illness related to vaping, and imposed an unprecedented 4 month ban on the sale of all vaping products in Massachusetts.
In the Hanover Public Schools, we have been concerned about the worsening vaping epidemic for the past several years. We have taken the steps of educating families and students, offering information about counseling and cessation programs, increased staff monitoring of the school bathrooms and disciplinary action when needed.
As the significant health impact of the use of both nicotine and THC based vaping products is becoming more apparent, the High School and the Middle School staff will continue to provide current, evidence-based and accurate information to students.
Families should be aware that both nicotine and marijuana addiction are well-documented medical disorders and may require medical intervention. If you feel your child is experiencing symptoms of addiction, please call your pediatrician for treatment. You may also reach out to your school nurse or school counselor for help.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has indicated that a combination of medication and counseling has been shown to triple the chances of successful cessation and provided the following resources:
- My Life, My Quit™ has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. For more information or to sign up online, visit mylifemyquit.com.
- This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started. In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
- Visit teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips.
- Visit mass.gov/vaping to learn about vaping addiction, health, and quitting.
- Information for parents/adults is available at getoutraged.org
- Massachusetts Quitline 1-800-QuitNow (7 days per week/24 hours per day, holiday hours may vary) to receive counseling online, by phone or through eChat and at least four weeks of free nicotine patches for students and adults over the age of 18.
There are also several resources available on the Hanover Public Schools Health website including the attached document “Tips for Talking With Your Kids About Vaping”. Also, please take a look at the "Signs of Vaping" document below.
We encourage you to use this opportunity to begin a conversation with your child, even if you believe they are not vaping.
Please feel free to contact your school nurse or counselor if you would like additional help or information.