Town Hall Meeting: Parents and Students Discuss Vaping

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- With the rise of vaping related illnesses and deaths across the U.S., the Sioux Falls School District hosted a town hall meeting. It was an open discussion with parents and students about vaping and the dangers. Around 80 people, parents and students attended the event.

Avera Pulmonologist Dr. Anthony Hericks specializes in the respiratory system. He spoke in-depth about vaping, including what it is, the negative health effects, and what ingredients vapor is made out of.

Dr. Hericks says what’s concerning is that the cause of the vaping epidemic is still unknown. Doctors do not know if it’s a specific substance or vape product causing illnesses. He says unfortunately some young people still believe vaping is harmless and was glad to see students like Leo Honeycutt attending the meeting. 

“I just want to know what happens when you do it and it’s becoming a problem at my school that kids are doing it more and more and it’s just very scary, which is why I wanted to come here to learn more,” said Seventh Grader Leo Honeycutt. 

Washington High School Principal Dan Conrad spoke about how vaping is becoming a problem in schools. Last year his school gave out 81 officer referrals for tobacco, which includes Juul sticks. 

His advice to parents is to be proactive. Learn what the vaping devices look like as some are disguised to look like pens and flash drives. And have a conversation with your kids about vaping.

“As a parent all you have access to is the news and you know hearing statistics, so we want to make sure we came tonight to not only learn more ourselves, but give him [son] the opportunity to learn more as well,” said Parent Michael Honeycutt

Parents and students were able to ask questions as well as look at examples of vaping devices. 

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