EBENSBURG, Pa. – The Cambria County commissioners approved a motion Thursday that is meant to help further efforts to prevent vaping in schools and keep youth tobacco-free.
As part of a contract with the Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program and local school districts, the commissioners approved reimbursing Central Cambria and Northern Cambria school districts for vaping detectors for a total of $25,120 between the districts.
Cambria County Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator Fred Oliveros said that the reimbursement is a continuation of strategies with the school districts to address the vaping issue.
“We’re changing the environment in the schools by aiding the schools in installing vaping detectors and sending a message to parents and students that it’s not appropriate behavior,” he said.
Oliveros added that this has prompted districts to change the language in their policies and ban vaping.
“We’re insisting those students that are caught with vapes in school be referred to the student assistance program and have an evaluation by our behavioral health liaison,” he said.
“In many cases, students who are engaging in this behavior are vaping nicotine, but in many cases THC, so it has become a route of administration for drugs. I’ve coordinated with the school districts for having the policy requiring those students come see us, and we’re getting kids into services earlier and intervening in those situations.”
Board recognizes anti-tobacco day
During the meeting, the commissioners also issued a proclamation in recognition of World No Tobacco Day, to be observed on May 31. Natalie Kauffman, director of the Cambria County Drug Coalition, accepted the proclamation and explained that the day is designed to encourage a tobacco-free lifestyle.
Kauffman also announced that the coalition is planning to hire a full-time staff member to focus on tobacco and alcohol prevention in students and adults.
Katie Smolen is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KSmolen1230.