Students participate in project

Focused on vaping and tobacco use

Broadalbin Perth High School SADD students' Vaping Photovoice entries exhibited at The Dangers of Vaping Parent University Night. (Photo submitted)

BROADALBIN — Recently, students involved in Broadalbin-Perth High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions — SADD — group participated in a Vaping Photovoice project sponsored by Advancing Tobacco Free Communities and Reality Check of Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery Counties. The project focused on vaping and tobacco use in their community as told through their own words and images. A Photovoice project combines photography with narrative and is a tool used to create awareness around a certain issue or concern.

The Vaping Photovoice project was on display at Broadalbin-Perth High School during a Parent University Night on the topic of the dangers of vaping, presented by Sarah Cope, PA and Advancing Tobacco Free Communities.

There has been a dramatic increase in teen use of e-cigarettes, most specifically Juuls, in the past year. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, 3.6 million teens reported current e-cigarette use in 2018. This number is almost double that of the previous year — 3.6 million versus 1.5 million in 2017. This increased use of e-cigarettes is creating a generation of children who have the potential for nicotine addiction as well as future disease and death.

ATFC is part of a network of statewide contractors funded by the state Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program, working to change the community environment to support New York State’s tobacco-free norm. Reality Check is the youth component of Advancing Tobacco Free Communities. Reality Check empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education. Locally the grant is held by Catholic Charities of Fulton and Montgomery. Since 1976 Catholic Charities has served area residents by providing services such as substance abuse prevention, food pantry, domestic violence advocacy and dispute mediation.