(Chelsea Update would like to thank Michaela Buckhannon for the information in this story.)
SRSLY recently released a public service announcement made by high school students to educate their peers about e-cigarette use.
The PSA features information regarding the number of high school students in Chelsea that have reported vaping in the past 30 days. And, it points out that even though vaping is on the rise, the majority of Chelsea students are choosing to live substance-free.
According to the 2018 Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPHY) survey, 96% of Beach Middle School students did not use a vape in the past 30 days, and at Chelsea High School, 72% of students did not use a vape in the past 30 days.
The PSA was developed as part of the larger “SRSLY? Check Your Stats” campaign, which was first implemented at the end of 2018. The campaign, developed between Project Success and the SRSLY Coalition, brings together students, administrators, and parents and provides them with local data regarding substance use.
Through data, the campaign seeks to reduce feelings of peer pressure and dispel the myth that youth substance use is normal. Previously, the campaign had shared Chelsea data about youth alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and prescription drug use via posters displayed in Chelsea High School and Beach Middle School.
SRSLY and Michaela Buckhannon, the Project Success counselor at the middle and high schools, worked with students in English 10 classes to create several PSAs. The students then voted for their favorite video, which will be shown before SRSLY Cinema movies this summer.
In her role, Buckhannon counsels and educates students about substance use.
“If you ask a student what the risk and harm is in smoking cigarettes or using tobacco chew, they are quick to say cancer,” Buckhannon said. “But if you ask them about the health risks of vaping, they don’t know.”
According to the Monitoring the Future study conducted by the University of Michigan, 80 percent of youth do not see great risk of harm from regularly vaping. While most students in Chelsea are not regularly vaping, the rapid increase of e-cigarette use is still concerning. A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that the number of students using a vape between 2011 and 2015 increased by more than 900%.
In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that 10.7 million American teenagers have used or are open to trying e-cigarettes, and more than 2.4 million middle and high school students were currently using.