School Superintendents And PTA Members Send Letter To Suffolk County Legislature Urging Passage Of Vaping Legislation
Legislator Spencer’s Bill Would Restrict Flavored Vape Products Across the County
Suffolk County Superintendents, administrators and PTA members are urging bi-partisan passage of IR 2128 in the Suffolk County Legislature that would restrict the sale of flavored vapor products in Suffolk County. The bill, which has been introduced by Legislator William “Doc” Spencer, is the latest measure put forth in Suffolk County to reduce the harmful impact on vaping in young adults. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC), vaping among teens increased 900 percent between 2011 and 2015 and this week the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory calling for aggressive action to combat teen vaping.
A copy of the letter can be found below:
Dear Members of the Suffolk County Legislature,
As teachers, administrators, and parents, we have seen firsthand the massive uptick in the number of our students who have taken to the latest trend of vaping and have watched this epidemic unfold before our eyes. Just this week it was found that the number of highs school students that have used vaporizers this year has doubled compared to last year. The numbers are astonishing. It is students of all ages, interests and grades.
As educators, we remain vigilant in our efforts to safeguard our students. While we continue to enforce our policies to prevent vaping in our hallways, bathrooms, and classrooms – and our staff have become adept at spotting vaporizers which are easily concealed – we need the help of our elected officials to curb this epidemic.
That is why today we are writing to urge you to adopt the proposed bill (IR 2128) that would limit the flavoring of liquid nicotine and e-cigarettes sold in Suffolk County. This legislation is key in helping protect our students from the dangers that these devices present.
Many of our students believe these devices to be safe, the fact is that they are putting their health at risk and facing an extremely high chance of developing a nicotine addiction. We know that nicotine has been found to harm the developing brain, which will lead to consequences that will translate poorly into the classroom. Exposing the developing brain to nicotine can negatively affect the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. The learning experience of all of our students is at risk.
By restricting the flavors targeted to our children, we can reduce the interest of our students in using these products, and begin to “deglamorize” the trend.
We are dedicated to doing everything we can to maintain a safe school environment and will continue to work in the best interest of all of our students. We believe aggressive steps are needed to combat teen vaping that is why, once again, in the name of safety, we urge you to adopt this legislation.
Dr. Kenneth Bossert, Superintendent of the Elwood Union Free School District and President of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association
Richard Loeschner, Superintendent of the Brentwood Union Free School District
Kevin Coyne, President of the Brentwood Teachers Association
Dr. Ellen Semel, Superintendent of the Islip Union Free School District
Joseph Bond, Superintendent of Bay Shore Union Free School District
Dr. Howard M. Koenig, Superintendent of the Central Islip Union Free School District
Christopher Richardt, Principal of Hampton Bays High School and President of Suffolk County High School Principals Association
John Coady, Principal of Smithtown High School West