SAYRE — Students at Sayre Area High School received more education on their health during their lunch periods Thursday, as Guthrie hosted its Great American Smokeout, a public awareness event spearheaded by the American Cancer Society since 1976.
The event featured Dr. Anthony Grippo, assistant chief to Guthrie’s Section of Occupational Medicine, who spoke with students and provided them with information about the risks of tobacco use and vaping.
“We have a display for the Great American Smokeout,” he said. “I’m here during the lunch period to give the kids some idea of the dangers of tobacco use and vaping. I’ll also be giving some personal stories to the students that impacted by own life with respect to tobacco use.”
Grippo said young people are the most vulnerable in terms of abusing tobacco and especially vaping.
“I think that children need to understand that, obviously, vaping can be harmful to their health, and I wouldn’t recommend that they start it,” he said. “And the second, very key point about vaping is you see kids modifying what’s going into the vaping devices, and that’s where we’re seeing a lot of problems with that. So if young adults were to try to vape, I would strongly suggest they would not modify the e-cigarette in any way, shape or form.”
Grippo added that there is a perception of safety surrounding vaping that is misconstrued.
“I think that’s a big communication piece where young adults and even adults think vaping is safer than tobacco, and it’s really not as safe as they think,” he said.
For those struggling or wanting to quit using tobacco or vaping products, Grippo asked them to keep their loved ones in mind.
“Think about their families, and they impact that it has on them,” he said. “I’ve already had a few kids here tell me how much they wish they could get their parents to stop smoking and chewing. And coming from a family who used tobacco, that was just something that was always on my mind.”