Vaping: The Next Health Epidemic presentation at Minot State

MINOT, N.D. – The First District Health Unit Vaping and Task Force and Minot State Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Club presents Vaping: A Health Epidemic at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4 in Minot State’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“This event is especially important for people to attend because of the misconception that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative than other forms of tobacco,” Danielle Reinisch, Minot State public health nursing instructor and ATOD member, said. “We are starting to see the negative consequences of these new substances; people are dying from them. We need to continue providing education to the public about these harmful products, and we need to be persistent.”

The U.S. Surgeon General has called the rapid increase in youth e-cigarette use an epidemic.

The event will be led by Frank White, a University of North Dakota sociology professor, whose research focuses on the vaping epidemic and other electronic nicotine delivery systems such as e-cigs, the availability and dangers associated with prescription pain killers like opioids, the effect of social media on adolescent attitudes and behavior, and up-to-date prevention strategies.

After receiving numerous calls from area schools and parents, the First District Health Unit set up an information meeting. From that, the vaping task force was created.

“The vaping task force was formed in April of 2019 out of a need to address the vaping epidemic that we are facing. Some of the goals of the taskforce include community education, parent education, curriculum for educators, and cessation resources for youth who vape,” Holly Brekhus, First District Health Unit director of health promotions, said. “According to the 2019 Youth Behavior Risk Survey, 33.1% of high school students use e-cigarettes. That number has increased from 2017 when the rate was 20.6%.”

When a task force member suggested an outside speaker to educate parents and the community about the vaping epidemic, Reinisch brought the idea to ATOD.

“I am also a member of the vaping task force committee, and I thought of our ATOD group when discussing Frank (White),” she said. “I felt that this presentation would also benefit students on our campus, so I brought it up at our next ATOD meeting and they also agreed.”

White has spent the last 30 years as a sociology professor at UND and was recently named the university’s 2019 Professor of the Year. He teaches a variety of sociology classes, including the popular and topical course Drugs and Society.  Funding for Vaping: The Next Health Epidemic was provided by a grant from St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation.

ATOD is a campus committee geared towards educating student on the potential negative consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. They partner with various organizations throughout the community to help create a harm-free environment for students to achieve their academic goals.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 11/26/19   

» More MSU News