7th grader at North Junior High
9th grader at Apollo High School
8th grader at North Junior HIgh
Even though it’s not in the news as much these days, youth vaping remains a huge health problem.
Too many high-schoolers and even middle school students are using tobacco products. The numbers are scary. Did you know that in Minnesota, one in five high-school students uses e-cigarettes? That means 20 percent of students might get hooked on vapes and are more likely to smoke and use other drugs in the future! YIKES!!
So we asked ourselves, how might we impress upon teenagers the harsh realities of vaping, in order to reduce the number of teens vaping in Minnesota in 2021 and beyond? Raising taxes on all vape-related products, banning flavors and certain shapes of vape pens, and requiring students to learn what vaping does to you will help achieve that.
Who are we? We’re the Community Problem Solving team (CmPS) at North Junior High and Apollo High School in St. Cloud that decided to tackle this problem. CmPS is part of the Future Problem Solving program. CmPS encourages students to become agents of change in their communities. We explore challenges in our target community, determine the underlying problem, brainstorm possible solutions, develop criteria to determine the best solution, develop an action plan, and carry the action plan out. These civic projects allow us to become agents of change in our communities.
Check out our website – https://sites.google.com/apps.isd742.org/dontjuulitsnotcuul/ to learn more!
We are not OK with Big Tobacco trying to addict us and our friends, and we think legislators should do more to help youth avoid addiction. Funding youth prevention is a good place to start. The Governor has included money in his budget and other legislators have proposed funding for this cause.
Thank you to Governor Tim Walz, Commissioners Jan Malcolm and Mary Cathryn Ricker, Senators Aric Putnam and Kari Dziedzic for teaching us about the positives of politics and how to share our voice with Minnesota lawmakers.
We hope we can count on our local lawmakers and other local leaders to support investing in a smoke-free generation.