Health effects of vaping presented to students

QCHS brought in an internationally certified prevention specialist to speak with its health classes about the negative impact of nicotine.
Posted on 11/16/2022
David Fialko, a prevention specialist with The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, spoke with QCHS students about the health effects of vaping and nicotine.By Gary Weckselblatt

David Fialko, a certified treatment specialist with The Council of Southeast PA, spoke to several Quakertown Community High School health classes about the health effects of vaping and nicotine.

“It tied in with our lesson plans,” Assistant Principal Jason Magditch said. “It’s nice to hear someone with an outside voice who can speak about industry standards and what’s happening in the world outside of school. The kids were receptive.”

Mr. Fialko is an internationally certified prevention specialist and nationally certified tobacco treatment specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the public health care industry. Since 2008, he’s been with The Council, which provides a wide range of services to reduce the impact of addiction. Previously, Mr. Fialko has given presentations to parents of middle and high school students in the District Services Center and the Quakertown Performing Arts Center.

“The kids have been awesome,” Mr. Fialko said Wednesday following multiple days at QCHS. “They’re engaged and focused. I’m energized by the information they already had.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration’s 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, about one in 10 or more than 2.5 million U.S. middle and high school students currently used e-cigarettes (past 30-day). More than 14 percent (2.14 million) of high school students and 3.3 percent (380,000) of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use.

Mr. Fialko explained that while 35 percent of the U.S. population smoked in the 1980s, that number fell to 15 percent by 2008. To maintain profits, the tobacco industry now owns e-cigarette companies. “This generation uses more nicotine than any other,” he said.

He went over the health impact of nicotine and told students it’s a lot easier to quit as a teenager as opposed to an adult. “You’ll be uncomfortable for a week or two but you’ll be able to power through it,” he said. “If you’re a vapor today, you will become a smoker. Find a group of people who don’t vape. You’ll be healthier and happier.”

Mr. Fialko knows from experience as he smoked into his 20s. It took him a year to quit.

“He talked about what he personally went through, which helped us relate,” said Natalie Welliver, a sophomore. “And he made clear the effects of what can happen to our generation. It makes you think. His presentation was excellent.”

Funding for vaping education is made possible by The Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529- 2028 or [email protected].
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