By Grace Knutson
“No use is good use.” That’s what Chemical Health Specialist Andrea Grussendorf considers to be her best advice to kids concerned with vaping habits. Grussendorf has only been with the New Prague School District since the beginning of this school year, but she has already started to impact New Prague High School.
Quit Vaping Program posters hanging in bathrooms, in hallways, and covering walls have all been part of Gruessendorf’s drive for change. The whole idea started with a teacher recommending a fix for the problem of nicotine-addicted students. Grussendorf was quick to respond and get the word out.
Within the first week of school, she had posters around the building providing a phone number to get support to quit vaping. She also shares information about the EX Vaping Program, a collaboration between Truth Initiative® and Mayo Clinic providing online resource consisting of blogs and conversations.
So far this school year, she has only met with students dealing with violations. She mentioned that she hopes the Quit Vaping Program will help kids to come to her before violations occur. With the program, she wants kids to “know that there are resources and that kids don’t have to attempt to do it alone. A lot of times kids may be too afraid to approach their parents about it.”
Her main concerns lately have been the lack of studies done on vaping, the short appearance vaping has made in schools, and the health problems that are now showing up in the news. She made the point that vapes have flavors appealing to all ages, and how that dangerously contrasts with the bad taste of cigarettes, which make people stop at a few rather than continue to vape high amounts.
Her worries of vaping and passion to help students has helped her to encourage student use of these resources. She hopes the anonymity of the phone number and online resources will persuade students to seek help. Her biggest hope is that teens will realize the dangers of vaping and that no use is good use.