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Blog: Friday, January 24th, 2020

Anti - Vaping Campaign

The ISP 10 class at Abbotsford Senior Secondary recently completed an Anti-Vaping Campaign to inform the students of Abby Senior about the dangers of vaping. The idea of the campaign started when we were learning about vaping during CLE 10. The students were surprised at the different chemicals such as propylene glycol (an ingredient in antifreeze), glycerin, and nicotine. THC is also found in different vaping products, which has been linked to other negative health effects. These, along with a variety of other chemicals, have been shown to cause both lung and cardiovascular disease.

It was important to keep this campaign student led and student focused. One of the first things we did as a class was brainstorm ideas for a slogan that could be used for the campaign. There were over a dozen suggestions, which were voted on, with the winner being "Hit the Choof Your Lungs Go Poof.” This slogan was inspired by the realization of popcorn lung and the severe damage it can cause to all who vape regularly. As a teacher I learned that vape juices come with many different potencies and go by many different names "choof" being one of them. This type of student-based language helped engage students in looking further into the information we had to share beyond the catchy slogan.

Having students take ownership over the campaign and make it their own was very important, as many of the current strategies to decrease vaping have had limited success. This would also allow students to see information presented in a way that is more relatable to them and hopefully let them see the negative health effects of vaping and allow them to make more informed decisions on vaping.

Spreading awareness of the vaping issue and its health consequence in our school community was one of our primary goals and we wanted to make sure we had many different methods to reach students in the school. The campaign included a barrage of information including: posters, school survey and analysis (274 students at Abby Senior participated in the survey), informative brochures, digital posters, daily announcements on the PA system, an anti-vaping video, and a podcast. These were placed strategically around the school and the video was put on the school televisions and Panther News. Prior to launching the campaign, we invited other classes and the school administration to come and get a preview of the school wide campaign, which received positive feedback, giving us more confidence in our campaign.

While reflecting on our campaign and the learning experience, we generally felt that we were successful; however, we also realized areas we could improve if we were to do it again in the future. When discussing our observations, we realized many of us observed different successes from people reading the posters, surveys and brochures, watching the video on the TV's in the halls of Abby Senior and even seeing students taking pictures of what was done and putting it on social media. Even if the social media sharing was not always in a positive light it still enabled us to further spread our message. 

Students appreciated the freedom to demonstrate and share their learning with the school community in a variety of ways. This was further demonstrated by a student during our reflection who said, “People have different styles of working. They can choose which one suited them.” The students were surprised at the amount of thought, planning, and collaboration involved in creating a school wide campaign. The process of creating different modes of media was also interesting and allowed the students opportunities to gain different knowledge and skills to overcome challenges.

The idea of having students take a leadership role in combating the vaping issue that is sweeping not only the province, but the entire country is critical. These products target youth and cause addiction. It seems fitting that the idea of accepting and understanding new research and information should come from youth with knowledge on the subject matter, alongside educators, researchers, and health officials. We hope that this will allow others to understand the very real physical and mental consequences of vaping, and that more youth are willing to say no to experimentation and feel empowered by knowing there are others who share their values of not wanting to be hindered by a product that is proven to be harmful to people’s health and well-being.

DUSTIN SHAPANSKY
Abbotsford Senior Secondary