Wilton Youth Council’s Warrior Council and Newport Academy invite students in grades 6-12, parents, and community members to learn more about the recent rise of vaping among young people. Elizabeth Driscoll Jorgensen, owner of Insight Counseling and consultant to Newport Academy, will discuss vaping on Thursday, April 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Wilton High School Little Theater.

A “vape” or “vape pen” is an e-cigarette, and the Juul is among the most popular brands. Originally marketed as a smoking cessation tool, e-cigarettes have taken off in popularity among teens across the country and in our region. A recent study of Wilton High School students by Suniya Luthar, Ph.D., found that while the number of students who smoked a tobacco cigarette in the past year was close to zero, almost 25% of freshmen and sophomores and 45% of juniors and seniors had “vaped” during the prior month.

Although they are sold in candy, fruit, and dessert flavors, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and young people who would not consider smoking tobacco cigarettes are nonetheless becoming addicted to it. Vape pens can also be used to consume THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.

Some devices are hard to recognize. The Juul looks similar to a USB memory stick, can be charged on a computer, and when used, releases an odorless aerosol that can go unnoticed.

The Warrior Council, a Wilton Youth Council club at Wilton High School, provides students an avenue to substance-free activities, healthy alternatives to substance abuse, and an opportunity to build leadership skills through planning educational forums. Membership is open to teens in ninth through 12th grades.

Information: Melissa Barrett at barrettm@wiltonps.org.