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Catholic high school runs eye-opening vaping experiments

J-P Mauro - published on 03/02/20

The scientific demonstration, developed by Cornell, is meant to educate kids on the real dangers of vaping.

Despite data that has shown vaping to be more dangerous than originally thought, the drug pitched as an alternative to smoking is more popular than ever. Where strip-mall smoke shops closed in great numbers, vaping stores have risen in their places and their presence at what feels like every other street corner has served to normalize the habit to the younger generation.

Kids seem to be all too eager to try the addictive substance. A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that a full quarter (25%) of American high school students have tried vape or are active vapers. In a similar study, NIDA also found that 7 in 10 children are exposed to advertisements for vaping. With the younger generation exposed to these smokeless cigarettes at every turn, it seems prudent to begin educating them on the dangers of such habits.

That’s just what the teachers at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, in Brooklyn, thought and they have now begun to teach the real effects that vaping can have on the body, in scientific terms.

The lesson utilizes scientific equipment to run an experiment, which was developed by Cornell University. NetNY’s Emily Drooby reports that students are given tetrahymena, a substance which mimics a living cell, and then they introduce it to e-cigarette vapor. Students observe the reaction through microscopes, which show the effect vaping has on the cellular level.

One student, Robert Simpson, described what he saw:

“When we put the e-cig juice in, all the tetra stopped swimming. The black particles also represent metal that would be bad in my lungs. So it shows how it’s bad for us.”

His teacher clarified that the effect of the vaping particles on the “living” cells is much harsher than just some sluggishness:

“The tetra actually die off. They slow down, their speeds decrease.”

The results of the experiment have the children of the Clinton Hill school thinking twice about their use of e-cigarettes, which was exactly the response that teachers had hoped for. Brother Dennis Cronin, President of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High, noted that the program was found to be beneficial and suggested that they will continue to conduct the experiments with students:

“The steps to correct it with young people is to diminish its attractiveness to use. That’s why I think this program is very important.”

Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School is one of the first secondary schools to put the Cornell program into effect, but with the success they have enjoyed, it may soon come to a school near you.

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