Williamsville South High School tackling nicotine addiction head-on

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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB)–Williamsville South High School is at the tail end of a series of workshops focused on, not just keeping kids away from nicotine, but helping them get off it.

“Because our use has been so high, and I think that’s true everywhere, the use among teens is so high we now know we have to target it on two different fronts,” said Keith Boardman, Williamsville South High School principal.

According to the Food and Drug Administration in 2014 e-cigs were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle schoolers and high schoolers, and by 2017 more than 2 million teenagers were suing e-cigs. 

Earlier this month, a teenager from the Bronx died from a  vaping related illness. It was the first confirmed fatality in New York State, according to the state health department. 

As of yesterday, the New York State Department of Health has recorded 125 instances of vaping-related lung illnesses. 31 of those cases are in Western New York, 13 in Central New York and 20 in the Albany areas. New York City has 25.

According to representatives from the state health department, samples of vaping products received from patients in the state, were tested and many of them were from black market THC cartridges.

The workshops are lead by a local recovery coach. Experts say, there’s a triad of choice products when it comes to teen addiction. And, it’s not just nicotine and THC.

“Most kids I talk to, that contact me they drink red bull in the morning, they smoke nicotine pretty much all day long and then they use THC to go to bed at night,” said Frank Michalski addiction coach.

The last of the workshops takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 5950 Main Street in Williamsville.

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