Indian Lake students examine vaping dangers first-hand

Board of education to consider tobacco-free campus

IL Schools vaping

Mary Rutan Hospital respiratory therapist Brooxie Crouch unveiled a damaged lung during a Power Up 4 Fitness lesson at Indian Lake Elementary School this week. (PHOTO | INDIAN LAKE SCHOOLS)

Indian Lake Schools Board of Education members are slated to vote on an agenda item at their Monday evening meeting that would make the entire school district campus tobacco-free. 

School officials report that currently, tobacco, including the smoking of electronic, “vapor” or other forms of cigarettes are prohibited on the campus, except in designated areas as defined in statute and Ohio’s smoke-free workplace program. However, if the agenda item is approved by the board, then the designated smoking areas will be removed from district grounds. . 

Also at Indian Lake Elementary School this week, fourth-graders have been learning about reasons to avoid vaping and other unhealthy habits, coinciding with the severe lung illnesses that have being diagnosed across the country. 

The Mary Rutan Hospital Power Up 4 Fitness Team recently presented information on positive ways to live, including the importance of heart health and the risks of using tobacco products. 

Respiratory Therapist Brooxie Crouch unveiled a pair of healthy pig lungs and a pair of lungs damaged from smoking. After detailing the harm smoking can do, leaving tar in the lungs and often leading to lung diseases or cancer, Crouch moved on to vaping.

The Ohio Department of Health recently warned of several mystery vaping illnesses that have hospitalized users with infections similar to pneumonia and fibrosis. Despite the scare, Crouch said vaping is on the rise with teens ages 12-19.

“I explained that those are harmful chemicals going into your body. Vaping warms those liquids up and how do think that feels when it enters your lungs? Like it burns them,” Crouch said.

Logan County Health Commissioner Dr. Boyd Hoddinott also said this week that he would advise any pre-teens, teens, young adults and others to avoid vaping “at all costs.”

“When burning and then inhaling a substance, it is definitely not safe. We’re seeing respiratory failure and sometimes permanent damage from these habits.

“When we’re dealing with compounds and products off the street, we’re wondering what is in them as well and what harmful substances are being inhaled into the body.”

Also during the ILES presentation, Wellness Coordinator Katey Butler explained how to keep your heart pumping properly by making healthy food choices. She also showed students what a healthy pig heart looks like, as it resembles a human heart.

Registered Nurse Deb Orr led groups in relay races of “roll the dice” jump rope and games of “kick the can” in the pod. Orr encouraged fourth-graders to make memories with friends by being active instead of sitting on their phones all the time.

Finally, fourth-graders got Power Up 4 Fitness cinch sacks full of resources to take home.