Dear Parents,

We are aware that the widespread availability of e-cigarettes has led to a national epidemic of vaping among middle school and high school students. Students often fall victim to using e-cigarettes, believing that they are safer than traditional cigarettes, not addictive, and that the penalties are not as serious. While some of these statements may be true for adults attempting to quit smoking cigarettes, they absolutely do not apply to developing teenagers.  The U.S. Surgeon General’s website states the following regarding e-cigarettes and youth:

·        E-cigarettes are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. The liquid usually has nicotine and flavoring in it and other additives. The nicotine in e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes is addictive
·         E-cigarettes can also contain:
·        Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
·        Flavorants such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to serious lung disease
·        Volatile organic compounds.
·        Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead
·        Nicotine exposure during adolescence and young adulthood can cause life-long additive tendencies and harm the developing brain.
·        The percentage of middle schoolers that use e-cigarettes has risen from almost 0 in 2011 to 5% in 2015; the percentage of high-schoolers that use e-cigarettes has risen from nearly 0 in 2011 to 15% in 2015.
·        A single pod in an e-cigarette has as much nicotine as a pack of regular cigarettes.

Given that Arizona state law treats e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, it is illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase an e-cigarette. Most students procure their vapes from peers who have access through family or friends. Many students use vapes at home or at school without parental or teacher knowledge because the e-cigarette is odorless and gives off only a thin cloud of vapor that disappears almost instantly.

Cicero Prep cares deeply for the health and safety of our students and has a zero-tolerance policy regarding substances that are illegal for minors, including the smoking, possession, or sale of e-cigarettes, vaping devices, or paraphernalia.

We encourage you to speak with your son or daughter about the dangers of e-cigarettes, and what strategies he or she can employ to resist peer-pressure. 

Ronald Garcia
Dean of Students