(Contributed image).

Anti-vaping pilot project to begin this fall at Red Deer’s Eastview Middle School

“Virtual learning” will be used to expand students’ critical thinking skills

The first deaths attributed to vaping are causing Alberta Health to double-down on efforts to make young people aware of the potential hazards.

In November, a pilot project will be starting in some Grade 7 to 9 classes in Alberta schools, including Eastview Middle School.

“Obviously, we have been very concerned about youth vaping, and we want to highlight the potential dangers,” said Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

Experience has shown teens do not take lectures about what’s bad for them to heart, so these pilot programs will focus on building students’ social competence skills, said Hinshaw.

A “virtual learning environment” will be created, allowing students to use smartphones and tablets to play games and puzzles that expand their problem-solving, decision-making and critical-thinking skills.

Hinshaw said the aim is also to hone the students’ media literacy, self-image and coping ability.

The pilot programs will run over five weeks.

Hinshaw said teachers will be sharing the latest information about e-cigarettes. An evaluation will be done at the end, and input from students and teachers will be used to help shape the final program.

While much isn’t yet known about vaping’s long-term effects, Hinshaw said some things are now clear: Vaping draws toxic materials into the lungs, and this has caused at least six Americans to rapidly succumb to respiratory distress.

No specific vaping or e-cigarette products have been linked to these deaths, added Hinshaw. Regardless, she said the practice led to serious lung illnesses, “so if you are not using tobacco products, it’s safest not to start.”

Alberta Health has already done work in schools, but the message is not getting through to some students, she admitted.

Meanwhile, Red Deer public school officials are meeting with the City of Red Deer Tuesday to discuss whether city bylaws officers can fine students who are caught vaping on school grounds.

Just Posted

Man arrested in 2014 drug bust finally getting sentenced

Convicted drug dealer unsuccessfully tried to get case thrown out because of delays

New trail being developed through North Red Deer woods

This forest belt is known for having rough sleeper camps

Moms visit Red Deer’s overdose prevention site

Moms Stop The Harm meet in Red Deer

Lacombe County land dispute to be resolved

Landowners next to new Kuhnen Natural Area feared trespassing and liability issues

Average fall, cold winter ahead, The Weather Network predicts

Canadians can expect average temperatures this fall that will give way to… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Opinion: City must aim for zero per cent tax hike

Red Deer city council is discussing the benefits of multi-year budgets, which… Continue reading

Veteran quarterback Harris’s status questionable for Edmonton Eskimos

He’s one of only two CFL quarterbacks to start all of his… Continue reading

Rapid rise of co-working providing needed space as big cities feel crunch

TORONTO — When Rahul Raj was ready to move his small but… Continue reading

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

DETROIT — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked… Continue reading

CREA reports August home sales up from year ago, raises forecast for 2019

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home… Continue reading

U.S. postal treaty exit would hurt Canadian e-commerce businesses

MONTREAL — U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to withdraw from an international… Continue reading

Saudi Arabian attacks linked to higher oil prices, spark energy stock rally

CALGARY — Higher oil prices spurred by an attack on Saudi Arabian… Continue reading

Most Read