SADD Targets Student Vaping

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This year the topic of the SADD assembly covered vaping. The assembly was lead by John FS Williams, M.Ed., LCPC. He has an M.Ed. in community counseling from Loyola University of Chicago and was director of youth services for Oak Park and River Forest township for 25 years. He was brought in to talk to the students about the issues of vaping, the effects of nicotine and tobacco, and addiction. According to Mr. Roche, who had a leading role in the organization of this years assembly due to Mrs. Drennan’s medical leave, the assembly was meant to inform students on the dangers of vaping and its effects on one’s health. 

During the presentation, Mr. Williams talked about himself and his experience with talking to youths about drugs. He talked about his father’s detrimental experience with cigarettes. He also explained that there are many ads meant to target our age demographic. For example, little children of five years old are able to recognize a certain logo for cigarettes as easily as they could recognize the Disney logo. Mr. Williams also explained the criteria for knowing if you are addicted to a drug and at what point one needed to get help. 

In his presentation he showed various statistics, one being by business Insider “ The San Francisco startup that invented the groundbreaking Juul e-cigarettes had a central goal during its development: captivating users with the first hit.” Additionally, he showed various statistics showing how many people die because of nicotine. 

After the assembly, there were a wide variety of reactions from the students. Some students did not believe the assembly had that great of an impact as others. Student Jacob Bruno said, “I feel like we’ve had the same assembly several times already.” Student Kayla Villegas added, “I feel like the speakers need to touch bases with the students on personal levels instead of hitting us with facts.”