For the first time, a death linked to vaping has been reported in Georgia, adding to the nationwide total of 18.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Heath, the patient that died from vaping had a history of “heavy” nicotine vaping. State officials have identified nine cases, including this death, of vaping-associated illness in Georgia, and said other cases are being reviewed.
A statewide student survey conducted last school year showed that seven percent of students, or 50,435 students, in grades 6-12 had smoked an electronic vapor product in the last 30 days, according to the Georgia Department of Education.
Federal and state officials have reported hundreds of total possible cases of pulmonary disease and several deaths that may be related to vaping. Patients’ symptoms ranged from cough, chest pain and shortness of breath to fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, according to the Georgia’s Center of Disease Control.
School clinic nurses have been taught to contact 911 immediately if a student comes in after they have been vaping. “When a teacher catch’s a student vaping or with a vape they are to email an administrator to have that student removed from that class,” Centennial AP Nikkole Flowers said. “The consequences that follow being caught doing these action result in suspension,” she added.
“Our main job is not to punish but to keep the student safe,” said Flowers. Some of the ways that centennial is taking action to try and prevent vaping habits is by holding community activities. These community activities mostly involve parents, who will be educated on the harmful effects vaping has on their child. There are also informational posters around the school that illustrates some harmful effects of vaping.