On Friday 26 August, the Years 7 to 10 students were visited by Azelene Williams from the Perennial Health Institute, who is also a registered social worker and holistic counsellor. She talked to us about the effects of vaping, the effects nicotine can have on your body, addiction and about what’s actually in e-cigarettes. Azelene developed a strong connection with her audience by using her personal story about how she grew up vaping and smoking, and how it ruined her life and greatly affected her daughter’s life.
There are many dangers and risks of vaping. The health concerns associated with vaping include a threat of lung disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis which are the most common and are both irreversible. Nicotine addiction can also result from vaping and this can disrupt normal brain development and make trying to quit more difficult. Both of these are long term effects which can be difficult for students who vape to understand, but it is important that they are discussed so students can see what their potential future could look like if they continue to vape.
Azelene’s presentation had a large impact mostly on the students who haven’t vaped before but have potentially considered trying it one day. This is a positive outcome as it has possibly changed people’s minds about trying it, and as Azelene said, “if you haven’t started vaping yet, don’t do it!”
It also has potentially made a couple of students who do vape, reassess their vaping and those around them. Although a small group of students seemed unphased by the presentation. The students who don’t vape were the ones who were left worried and distressed about the health and safety of their friends who do.
If it changes just a few students’ minds, that is better than not changing at all, which makes Azelene’s presentation a success.
Written by Tilly Woodard, Year 10